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posted by martyb on Saturday September 12 2015, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the unacceptable-acceptable-use-policies dept.

Is it just me or have ISP (Internet Service Provider) terms and conditions gotten a lot more one-sided about what you can't do and what they can do?

I was considering switching to the new Vodafone Connect broadband and phone service as there are some nice discounts for existing Vodafone customers (and I've had enough of BT's high prices for FTTC) but reading through the text of their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) has caused me to think again. I'm sure a lot of the text in the agreement is fairly standard, and to be honest it's been a while since I switched providers, but some of these terms seem rather overreaching. For example:

2.7. You must not use the Vodafone Connect Services to access, download, send, receive, store, distribute, transmit, upload or in any way deal with material or data that we deem:

i. to be offensive, threatening, defamatory, racist, abusive, harassing, invasive of privacy, obscene, harmful, indecent or menacing;

Those words cover one hell of a lot of territory... sorry, did you deem my use of the "H" word offensive? What if I'm in a private chat with a friend and he calls me a "####" so I tell him to "#### off"? Use your imagination, we could be covering offensive, abusive, obscene and indecent right there (if not more).

Further on there's a section titled "Actions we may take" (where "we" is Vodafone) and this one really got my attention:

[More after the break...]

4.1. We may, at our sole discretion, run manual or automatic systems and monitoring in order to ensure that you remain compliant with the terms of this AUP at all times (for example we may scan for open mail relays, or open proxy servers). By accessing the internet via our Vodafone Connect Services you are deemed to have granted us permission to access and monitor your computer systems and networks.

So just by using their service I've given permission for them to access and monitor all my systems and networks! Well, given that they bought Cable & Wireless they do have a history of working closely within the surveillance system. Funny though, that they deem it acceptable to "access and monitor" my systems when earlier in the AUP it states:

2.11. Without the explicit permission of the relevant operators you may not run "scanning" software which accesses remote machines, networks or other computer systems.

Of course, they've got the usual "we can change this document at any time without explicitly telling you, and continuing use of the service means you agreed to any new conditions we've set" (See section 1.3) and finally you better not ever get a virus (goodbye Windows users):

2.13.You must ensure that your computer systems and network are not configured in such a way that others are able to exploit them in order to disrupt the internet or any other third party network. This includes but is not limited to ensuring that your network cannot be exploited as an open mail relay, open proxy server, or as a component of a wider network used in denial, or distributed denial of service attacks by third parties.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BsAtHome on Saturday September 12 2015, @01:38PM

    by BsAtHome (889) on Saturday September 12 2015, @01:38PM (#235558)

    The overreach of many service providers (not only ISPs) is getting into "give me the money and fuck you, you little customer" territory. It has been a growing phenomenon and greed, lawyers, monopolies, governmental disregard and the lack of public push-back are to blame.

    It once was "the customer is king", but those times are long over. Many terms in these agreements are not enforceable. Giving implicit access to you computers and network, without any safeguards, is "invasion of privacy", no matter which way you formulate it in the agreement and is a no-go (just like stating "you owe me money when accessing this public accessible site" would be a laughable suggestion). The US system is a lot more corporation friendly than the east-side of the pond, so ymmv.

    The real problem is that you must fight for your rights and reasonable terms. That is the real problem. You are put in a position that you have to prove your innocence and *that* is a very wrong and disturbing trend.

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:15PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:15PM (#235567) Homepage Journal

    "you must fight for your rights"

    Are you saying that freedom isn't free? Funny, I've heard that elsewhere . . .

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by turgid on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:59PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:59PM (#235579) Journal

      More guns, that's the answer. More and more guns. Everyone needs more and bigger guns so that they can be truly free.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday September 12 2015, @03:13PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @03:13PM (#235586) Homepage Journal

        God made men equal. Sam Colt made them more equal.

        Also, the one thing that separates a free man from a slave, is the right to keep and bear arms. Funny thing about most liberal cities - white cops have guns, and black residents have no guns.

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday September 12 2015, @04:28PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @04:28PM (#235600) Journal

          Where I come from the police carry sticks. Bad guys carry knives, especially teenage ones in London. Very bad guys like the major drug dealers and bank robbers carry guns. A few special police carry guns and they only come out when the bad guys come out to play. Every week several teenage boys stab each other to death, usually in London. I'm glad they don't have guns...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @04:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @04:50PM (#235606)

            Every week several teenage boys stab each other to death, usually in London. I'm glad they don't have guns...

            Things must have changed since I left London then (16 years ago). On my way in to work one morning via Network South East, just by Tulse Hill I've seen a 13-14 year old show his friend his brother's 9mm pistol, which he 'borrowed'..needless to say, they were on their way to school. (Also, needless to say, they would have been of interest to the old Operation Trident farce).

            Just because they're not using the things on a daily basis, don't make the mistake of thinking they don't have access to firearms, from talking to various people about our local teenage gangs, sure, they may use knives (though their favourite currently is the good old half brick..readily available almost everywhere) but they do have their guns.

            Due to the nature of my work, I come in contact with some of these teenagers. It isn't fun having a building surrounded by upwards of 40 of them demanding that you hand over a 16 year old whose only crime is that he belongs to a rival gang and your building is in their territory.

            Welcome to Britain in the 21st century..

                 

            • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:39PM

              by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:39PM (#235627) Journal

              So you call the police and they send out the armed response unit?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @10:06PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @10:06PM (#235714)

              So some small number have access to firearms, and you conclude that they all have access? Rationality is just a thing for other people, isn't it?

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday September 13 2015, @02:54AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 13 2015, @02:54AM (#235762) Homepage Journal

            So - tell me how it's different that your teenage boys (gang members) are stabbing each other to death, while our teenage boys are shooting each other. The end result is very much the same, isn't it? The coroner is called to haul away a body for examination, and the police department is looking for evidence, and hunting suspects.

            People like myself recognize that murderers should be feared. Hoplophobes, on the other hand, fear the weapons used by the murderers.

            --
            There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 1) by Demena on Sunday September 13 2015, @07:33AM

          by Demena (5637) on Sunday September 13 2015, @07:33AM (#235819)

          I have no guns and an no man's (or women's) slave. If you are going to say something try to say something factual or something interesting.

          One more racist, gun nut rant just is not necessary.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Saturday September 12 2015, @06:15PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Saturday September 12 2015, @06:15PM (#235635)

      Freedom costs a buck-oh-five.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by SDRefugee on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:32PM

    by SDRefugee (4477) on Saturday September 12 2015, @02:32PM (#235573)

    The real problem is that you must fight for your rights and reasonable terms. That is the real problem. You are put in a position that you have to prove your innocence and *that* is a very wrong and disturbing trend.

    And FAR TOO many people in this country (USA) don't seem have any problem with the overreach that both government AND corporations have now.. Case in point, I have a small local business doing computer support. I get peppered with questions about Windows 10, and I tell them its a privacy nightmare, and advise them to stay with Windows 7/8/8.1. I've explained to them and shown them the documentation. Several people have told me they don't care, they just want the latest/greatest.. All I can do is shake my head and wonder.. On the other hand, I've had several people who bought new systems with Windows 10, and discovering its underlying nature, came to me and asked to have Linux installed. We've upgraded quite a few older systems with XP to XUbuntu, and but never had someone with any of the newer versions of Windows request moving to Linux.. I strongly suspect (and hope) that when more people learn about Windows 10, they'll dump it..

    --
    America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:44PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:44PM (#235630) Journal

    (just like stating "you owe me money when accessing this public accessible site" would be a laughable suggestion).

    By reading this comment, you agree to give me <pinky-at-mouth>one million dollars!</pinky-at-mouth>

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Saturday September 12 2015, @10:41PM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Saturday September 12 2015, @10:41PM (#235720)

      Do you accept monopoly money in virtual form? I'll pay you double if you accept half-bits modulated on a wave-guided light beam exceeding c. Then you also will receive your payment yesterday.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday September 13 2015, @12:38AM

    by c0lo (156) on Sunday September 13 2015, @12:38AM (#235741) Journal

    It once was "the customer is king", but those times are long over.

    It once was "customer", but those times are long over; now it's "paying consumer", and most of the time the adjective "captive" is implicitly understood for networking services

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0