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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: 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?