AfterDawn: Tech news

Grandmother almost has Internet service suspended, wrongfully

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 02 Feb 2010 12:48 User comments (22)

Grandmother almost has Internet service suspended, wrongfully Cnet has reported today that a 53-year old grandmother almost had her Internet service suspended for alleged piracy, although it was never proven that she had downloaded anything she was accused of.
Qwest Communications told her that she was accused of downloading 18 Hollywood movies including Zombieland and the latest Harry Potter, and that her service was set to be terminated. More harshly, her name would be placed on a blacklist for other ISPs in the area to know what she had done.

Cathi Paradiso is a technical recruiter and obviously needs her computer and working Internet connection to live. She emailed the movie studios accusing her, as well as Cnet, and asked for help: "Take me off your hit list. I have never downloaded a movie. Period... You'll need to admit you made a mistake and move on to the correct perpetrator... I am saying this once more: My computer is not a toy. My livelihood depends on my ISP's reliability. Look for the perpetrator and leave my service alone."

Before shutting her off, Qwest sent out a technician to investigate and they found that her wireless network had been infiltrated and someone had been using it to download the movies.

Adds Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the EFF: "This goes to show that there's a problem with due process in these kinds of situations. If you're going to kick somebody off the Internet, there's a lot of procedures that need to be put in place to protect the innocent. It doesn't look like those were in place here."

Read the full post here: Grandma endures wrongful ISP piracy suspension

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22 user comments

12.2.2010 13:18

This sucks I was going to switch to quest also but not if they do this kind of bull shit

22.2.2010 13:31

What bullshit? The old lady was an idiot for not having her wireless encrypted. Her internet was being used to download illegal movies. Qwest did nothing wrong. If anything it was a good wake up call for her.

Although Qwest handled it quite poorly.

32.2.2010 13:42

What I don't get is why would quest even care? The lady could have very easily got service under another name(friend or family) anyway.

42.2.2010 14:14

Originally posted by Blackloz:
What I don't get is why would quest even care? The lady could have very easily got service under another name(friend or family) anyway.
I would imagine her household would be blacklisted?

52.2.2010 18:18
fgamer
Inactive

lol, funny article. Especially the end.

62.2.2010 19:51

The thing is...is there anyway they can tell who was leech the connection (which I'm sure there are).
Looks like she needs to put a password on that...

72.2.2010 20:44

Originally posted by Invasian:
The thing is...is there anyway they can tell who was leech the connection (which I'm sure there are).
Looks like she needs to put a password on that...
Yes, most routers keep logs of the computer name (not extremely helpful) and sometimes the MAC Address of any device that gets an IP Address from the router.

She also needs to do more than password her network, it needs to be encrypted with WPA2 (preferably) or WPA at the least. Anyone with an hour or two to spare can learn to get into a WEP encrypted network in a matter of minutes and she could easily be in a similar situation. Yes, hacking into someone's network is illegal but so is pirating movies.

82.2.2010 22:11

THIS IS WHY ACTA WILL SCREW US ALL OVER FOR SITUATIONS LIKE THIS!

sorry for all caps but this frustrates the hell outta me.

92.2.2010 22:19

Any Wardriver worth his salt, will break any wireless Connection WPA2 or no. its all about the way keys are handled.

103.2.2010 0:16

Originally posted by DXR88:
Any Wardriver worth his salt, will break any wireless Connection WPA2 or no. its all about the way keys are handled.
Agreed, but if they have the chance to crack a WEP or a WPA2, they are going to take the WEP connection 10/10 times.

113.2.2010 1:51

From reading the article, it would appear that the Grandmother did have some type of protection on her wireless network, the way it reads, she bought the wireless modem/router, and set it up according to instructions that came with unit. Someone hacked it and downloaded all the movies, etc. The Grandmother did all she knew how, from instructions from package, and we know how hackers can defeat these protective measures, read articles on hacks, there are plenty of stories of these occurring on After Dawn. I am pleased she got help to resolve the issue, pretty quick to Judge, jury (or lack of ) and sentencing. She had access and usage stolen by the hacker.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Feb 2010 @ 1:54

123.2.2010 4:41

Wow...they know that she was innocent, and yet they still go after her. This is the probelm with wireless networks...if it can be recieved, then it can be cracked.

133.2.2010 4:58

Originally posted by andmill11:
What bullshit? The old lady was an idiot for not having her wireless encrypted. Her internet was being used to download illegal movies. Qwest did nothing wrong.

so if they steal your gun and kill someone, you should go to jail 20 years? Why do people bullshit so much?

143.2.2010 10:31

Quote:
More harshly, her name would be placed on a blacklist for other ISPs in the area to know what she had done.
Anyone remember the "Red Scare" where people were blacklisted for allegedly being "communist?" They could NOT get jobs and such b/c of this.....

153.2.2010 16:40

What a mess.

165.2.2010 0:33

Quote:
Originally posted by andmill11:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What bullshit? The old lady was an idiot for not having her wireless encrypted. Her internet was being used to download illegal movies. Qwest did nothing wrong.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


so if they steal your gun and kill someone, you should go to jail 20 years? Why do people bullshit so much?

if you own a registered gun and its used for a crime you can be held responsible.

Quote:
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More harshly, her name would be placed on a blacklist for other ISPs in the area to know what she had done.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyone remember the "Red Scare" where people were blacklisted for allegedly being "communist?" They could NOT get jobs and such b/c of this.....
black lists are stupid.anyone can make a mistake once and end up on a blacklist.usually they don't make the same mistake twice.but once your blacklisted your blacklisted.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Feb 2010 @ 0:34

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

175.2.2010 1:19

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
if you own a registered gun and its used for a crime you can be held responsible.
Not if you were unaware of the fact that it had been taken. Granted, the cops might "decide" that you are the real criminal, and torture a confession out of you...but that is another problem with the "Justice" system.


188.2.2010 10:24

Stupid old people! They get what they deserve for not growing up with computers and learning all the technical details!

...nevermind that any wireless network can be cracked in ~10 min with the right (fairly inexpensive) equipment and software. Also there are major flaws in some firmwares that allow hackers to take control of your router. Victim blame much?

198.2.2010 21:22

Originally posted by IguanaC64:
Stupid old people! They get what they deserve for not growing up with computers and learning all the technical details!

...nevermind that any wireless network can be cracked in ~10 min with the right (fairly inexpensive) equipment and software. Also there are major flaws in some firmwares that allow hackers to take control of your router. Victim blame much?
Why is she Stupid? Because she was born before general availability of computers, she has taken steps to learn, and did all she could, using instructions given. One day you will be old, and new technology then will mean that because you didn't grow up with it, then will you be stupid? Or are you going to hope you die before you get old?

warlock

209.2.2010 2:39

Quote:
Cathi Paradiso is a technical recruiter and obviously needs her computer and working Internet connection to live.
doesnt someone need computer skills to be a technical recruiter???
hopefully someone can enlighten me as to what a technical recruiter does???

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

219.2.2010 10:02

Technical doesn't mean just computers.


warlock

221.3.2010 19:04

@bmlshane: Sarcasm =). I was making fun of andmill11 at the top of the forum...he's not the only person I hear doing a lot of victim blaming, either.

I'd hoped the second part of the message would show where I stand...that even if you enable all the protection your router affords, anything wireless is not difficult to hack by someone with the right software and the right knowledge. Saying people are stupid because they don't know as much as you do and they deserve to be prosecuted/fined/imprisoned because they don't know how to properly lock down their network or their network is hacked is a bunch of horsehockey.

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