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 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Unfortunately, bugs in mission critical software doesn't really mean anything in regards to this situation. Unless you feel that the presence of bugs in certain mission critical software proves that all of the logs and forensics available to this ISP are inaccurate, fabricated or unreliable? That's a pretty wild jump, in my opinion."

    First of all, you are assuming that the ISP has sufficient evidence to prove wrongdoings on her account. Perhaps there is and perhaps there isn't, but isn't that the purpose of due processes to decide instead of just the ISP or the RIAA/MPAA and their influence on the ISP? If they have evidence why not present it in court and present it as part of the due process section. It wouldn't be good if cops could just declare that they had enough evidence to punish someone and if they could just decide to punish them on such basis without due processes.

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