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
    The AC you responded to above, 1 Feb 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re:

    You don't have to be a shill to say that the activity on grandma's network is her responsibility, even if she's not educated/equipped to properly deal with it. In fact, I've never even been a satisfied customer when it comes to ISPs. But I do know networking, and the responsibility of the actions within the home network belongs to the owner of said network.


    It would be absolutely damning if there were documents called Terms of Service, and Acceptable Use Policies that define certain activities which are prohibited and define who is responsible for the actions of the account.


    I bet the ISP is evil yet again, because grandma agreed to terms without reading them. Say what you want about contracts and ToS and big business, and all that crap that you conspiracy folk like to do, that doesn't mean the company wasn't within their rights to act how they did.


    As someone pointed out earlier, this story is only here because of the cute "grandma" spin to it. I don't see a story here every time someone has their "identity stolen" and suffers some true hell and ruin. Much more important stories, but not nearly as much fun for you guys to cry about.

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