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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
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2010 @ 1:17pm


    "here is nothing wrong with sharing you WiFi, but it's like letting someone else drive your car. Don't be shocked if you get a bunch of parking tickets or you car gets seized at the border full of pot or illegal aliens."
    --- Wrong.. you are implying that she gave permission for someone to use her WiFi. Leaving you car unlocked may be careless, but does not imply permission. Which, is a more accurate analogy of what she did in this case.

    "At the end of the day, if her internet connection is that important to her, she should protect it."
    --- So, she had it coming by not being savvy enough. Nice logic.

    "She was falsely accused multiple times, you would think that maybe she would take a minute to secure her connection."
    --- Actually that is a fact under dispute, so don't make the assumption that best suits your flawed argument.

    "It's a nice attempt to paint the story as bad (the grandmother angle is so cute!), but the reality is this: She allowed anyone and everyone to use her access, and she is responsible for it."
    --- Well, if your house ever gets robbed because you forgot to lock one of your windows or a door, don't bother to call the police or your insurance company to report the loss. It is implied that by leaving it unsecured you gave them permission to take whatever they could. If it was really important to you, you should have locked it, right?

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