News.com Prevents Falsely Accused Grandmother Of Getting Kicked Off The Internet By The MPAA

from the but-who-will-protect-anyone-else? dept

One of the problems we've had with the whole "three strikes" concept that would kick people off the internet due to accusations, not convictions, of file sharing, is the fact that we hear all the time about innocent users accused of file sharing. Greg Sandoval, over at News.com recently came across a grandmother who was falsely accused multiple times of file sharing, and her ISP, Qwest, was threatening to kick her off the internet. We had not heard that Qwest had signed on with a "three strikes" program, so it's a bit of news that it's one of the companies who will accept bogus accusations. Not only that, but Qwest even told her that no other provider would grant her service because Qwest would let those other service providers "know her name and what she did." Thanks, Qwest!

The problem, of course, was that Cathi Paradiso didn't share any of the movies or TV shows she was accused of sharing, and she works from home as a recruiter -- so losing her internet access would be devastating. But the only way she got Qwest to back down was because Sandoval and News.com became interested in the story and convinced Qwest to look deeper. But if Paradiso hadn't been able to draw attention to herself from the press, she would have had no recourse. There was no one she could appeal to, and no official process to respond to the bogus claims of Hollywood. She got lucky that News.com was willing to pick up her story and contact Qwest, but what about anyone else threatened with bogus notices? Meanwhile, BayTSP, the company whose "evidence" has been shown to be flimsy and easily falsified in the past, stands by accusing her of file sharing, saying it was her own fault for having an open WiFi network, suggesting there's something inherently wrong with sharing your WiFi. Yes, the company stands by its false accusation. Nice company.

Filed Under: due process, false accusation, file sharing, three strikes
Companies: baytsp, qwest


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  1. identicon
    kristof, 22 Nov 2011 @ 11:35am

    well then....

    recently i also got a 2nd notice for this and had to fill out a form and send it back to get re-activated. if this happens again i am done. I use mediacom, and though im not going to lie, i have in the past downloaded illegal software, the instances that they are referring to, i never downloaded. BAYTSP is the reporting agency. So my questiong to anyone who might know, is there a real way to fight this, because the first time i contacted mediacom just like before, and they did nothing at all. im sure the paper went directly from their mailbox to the shredder.

    i know this is not legit because i was away on a trip with my wife and child. I use a combination of wep and mac blocking. Also, to boot, both of my computers were turned off, and my laptop was with me. checking the logs of my router, i found no evidence of anyone entering it while gone, though not to say someone skilled didnt edit the log. So, this must mean they entered the modem directly then....so do i have any defense?

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