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(Torrent Freak)   Comcast continues to choke down their endless bag of dicks, as they announce plans to hijack user's browsers if they dare torrent Backdoor Sluts 9   (torrentfreak.com) divider line 36
    More: Asinine, Backdoor Sluts 9, Comcast, browser, Court of Arbitration for Sport, VoIP, consumer confidence, environmental mitigation, VPN  
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8332 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Feb 2013 at 10:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-28 10:11:36 AM
5 votes:
so essentially comcast is making it worth the effort to hijack other people's wifi hotspots and use them when hosting a torrent...?

great jorb guys!
2013-02-28 11:02:04 AM
3 votes:
Corporations are people too, except when it comes to breaking the law.

Frankly, i'm surprised more people havent caught on to this idea and incorporated themselves. Then you could murder a dozen prostitutes, dump toxic waste in the yard of a neighbor who pissed you off, never pay taxes, and eat a baby (all before noon) and still weasle your way out of responsibility for all of it.
2013-02-28 10:59:47 AM
3 votes:
What if you don't use their DNS servers? (Google public DNS, for example. 8.8.8.8)
2013-02-28 10:42:26 AM
3 votes:

wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?


I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?  if comcast is hacking your browser and redirecting your communications...well, if I did that I'm pretty sure someone would find me and throw me in jail.  but a corporation does it and suddenly the law doesn't apply?
2013-02-28 10:33:11 AM
3 votes:

Walker: Should be an easy way to stop the pop-ups.


why bother in the first place?  look - if i'm an evil file trader, i'm not gonna use MY wi-fi to file trade.  imma scan the local neighborhood and find someone with weak or no encryption.  then i'll use their 'net access to run my torrent.  or worst case, i'll head down to the local coffee shop or library and chill there for an hour or so while things finish up.  I've got options...and comcast can't track me, then can (at best) maybe track where I and other evil people are using as points of access, then punish THOSE people.

so this new policy doesn't stop file trading.  not at all.  it'll hurt the innocent tho, and that's really what this is all about.
2013-02-28 04:07:01 PM
2 votes:
i.qkme.me
2013-02-28 01:51:10 PM
2 votes:

whizbangthedirtfarmer: ArkAngel: MmmmBacon: Meh, the whole thing is stupid. I don't download copyrighted materials, so I'm not worried about this issue very much, but I do play some games that download their updates via a Peer-to-Peer system very similar to downloading torrents. I know I would be viciously pissed if Comcast blocked my web browsing because I happen to play games that act in a similar fashion to BitTorrent.

I believe you have to be reported first by one of the copyright holders, so you should be safe.

Yep.  I got popped several years ago because I was working on a class and downloaded one of those Great Lectures series on the subject for some additional info.  I got a letter from Comcast a few days later saying the Great Lectures folks had uploaded the file to the torrent site to catch people who were copyrighting.  Considering they appeared to be the only ones uploading Great Lectures series, I thought their strategy was a bit counterproductive.


What gets me about cases like that is that in the real world, that's the equivalent of someone going out in a public square with a table of cookies that said "Take one" and when someone actually does they call the cops for theft.

The whole idea is that you can't upload or distribute another individuals copyrighted content without permission. However, if you're distributing your own content, by definition you have your own permission, so anyone who takes what you're freely distributing isn't violating anything.
2013-02-28 01:21:44 PM
2 votes:
Also, it should be noted that courts have been increasingly intolerant of copyright plaintiff's bullshiat in filesharing cases, especially when attempting their "Copyright Holder v. 500 Does" antics.  

With that in mind, this seems like a pretty obvious attempt to do an end-run around the judicial system. 

Courts aren't finding in our favor anymore?  Let's come up with some extrajudicial way to punish people.  Bonus: No due process or burden of proof to contend with, either.
2013-02-28 12:26:17 PM
2 votes:
... actually, there's a way you could use PEERBLOCK or other IP block lists that could potentially be safe... start your torrent with the rate throttled waaaaaay down so that you're barely getting any data, but you are getting the advertisements of who's seeding. Then, identify which seeders have complete copies. Finally, block  all IP addresses  except those few seeders and unlock the rate throttle.

You won't be uploading, because none of those seeders will be requesting data, so distribution is out. And while you are making an infringing copy, the only way MediaSentry could find you would be to be one of the seeders... and then you have a really good argument that you're getting a licensed copy from an agent of the copyright owner and it's not illegal at all. It's one of the reasons that the RIAA/MPAA have never gone after leechers, but that's a little more difficult with torrents. This method should make you an absolute leech.

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice, do not rely on the above. Use at your own peril.
2013-02-28 11:08:13 AM
2 votes:

Weaver95: a TOS agreement cannot trump federal law.  And I don't care HOW good a legal staff comcast has...if they break federal computer crimes laws then their CEO should go to jail for it.


That is my point.  If they just identify your cable modem for a redirect on port 80/443 because you have been identified as a threat sender or some such, I doubt they are breaking any hacking laws.  This is a sensible action to take on a network that does not require any inspection of what you are doing or going.  As much I hate to white knight an ISP, they really do have to take some actions to protect both themselves from liability and other users on the network.   As it says, the system was claimed to have been designed to alert people to when they were infected and where threat senders so they could take action and clean their system.  Should Comcast not do anything about threat traffic either?

If they were installing software on your system without your consent to do the same, like the Sony rootkit, I would agree that it would be very concerning.

As far as breaking laws and the CEO going to jail.  I'm sure Tony Hayward will be reporting to a Federal PMITA prison any day now...
2013-02-28 10:59:32 AM
2 votes:

wingnut396: Weaver95: wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?

I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?  if comcast is hacking your browser and redirecting your communications...well, if I did that I'm pretty sure someone would find me and throw me in jail.  but a corporation does it and suddenly the law doesn't apply?

I would imagine it is the TOS to 'protect the network for all users' or some such.  That and their lawyers will be better than yours.


a TOS agreement cannot trump federal law.  And I don't care HOW good a legal staff comcast has...if they break federal computer crimes laws then their CEO should go to jail for it.
2013-02-28 10:38:37 AM
2 votes:
Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?
2013-02-28 05:50:47 PM
1 votes:

Dr Dreidel: Isn't euthanasia enacted (in OR, anyway) in such a way that the doc is essentially prescribing painkillers and leaving the room? (Yes, I know there's a 6-month waiting period as well as many hoops to jump through just to get the script, plus 60-some-odd percent of people don't end up using them. I mean philosophically.)


I've had two family members who signed up for the Death with Dignity deal.  I don't think there was a waiting period as they both had less then 6 months.  We did have to find an "impartial" non-family member sign an affidavit that this was their wish though.   Also they have to be coherent enough to ask for the pill without any coercion, which is a bit of a problem for elderly women taking enough morphine to keep a heroin addict high for a month.   We jumped through the hoops but in the end neither of them took the pill.
2013-02-28 01:26:04 PM
1 votes:

China White Tea: Also, it should be noted that courts have been increasingly intolerant of copyright plaintiff's bullshiat in filesharing cases, especially when attempting their "Copyright Holder v. 500 Does" antics.

With that in mind, this seems like a pretty obvious attempt to do an end-run around the judicial system.

Courts aren't finding in our favor anymore?  Let's come up with some extrajudicial way to punish people.  Bonus: No due process or burden of proof to contend with, either.



Let's not forget the 'processing fee' of I think it was $30 to have comcast remove the block / redirect.

Revenue stream.  Even if the their claim ends up being bogus and one is innocent.  Revenue stream.  Incontestable revenue stream.
2013-02-28 01:03:59 PM
1 votes:

fluffy2097: ferretman: TOR

The problem with The Onion Router is that you have to have trusted exit points. If you compromise the exit point, you get all the data.

So only use trusted exit points if you plan to use TOR.


Don't use TOR for torrents.

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/bittorrent-over-tor-isnt-good-idea  

And seriously, you're going to get better performance out of a VPN, anyway, and they're not expensive.  I can't imagine why anyone would WANT to use TOR for filesharing.
2013-02-28 12:43:50 PM
1 votes:
Why use BT when there are safer alternatives, like anonymous file lockers or going through TOR?

Or so I've been told.
2013-02-28 12:35:38 PM
1 votes:

Ostman: What's a VPN?
I know I'm inviting the wrath of farkers with actual computer literacy, but why do you apparently 50% of you use this?


Virtual Private Network. Commonly used by businesses when people want to work remotely. It's as if you had a really long-ass Ethernet cable running to your work, so that at home, you're on their internal network, have a company IP instead of your own IP address, etc. Any action you do is through their network rather than your own.

In this case, the "company" is usually some server farm out of the country or an ISP that has refused to scan packets for torrents. You connect to them via a VPN and all your ISP sees is encrypted traffic between your computer and the VPN host. No torrents, no porn browsing, etc.
2013-02-28 12:15:10 PM
1 votes:

TV's Vinnie: People, get PEERBLOCK already!



Peerblock is a placebo.
2013-02-28 11:50:39 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: so if I were to find a way to pull this off and redirect Disney's home page to Brazzers.com...it's all good and legal?


Dude are you now hanging around with Rush and sharing his 'meds'?  You are not usually this obtuse.

When you subscribe to comcast's network, you sign an agreement to not abuse (now those abuse rules may be be up for debate).  Part of the way they protect their network from abuse is to redirect traffic to different servers.  Are you upset that your ISP is very likely, right now, redirecting your fark.com requests to their caching servers INSTEAD of the actual website?  OMG, they are intercepting your traffic!@!@!!!!!  FEDERAL LAWSUIT!@!@

Doing a network level redirect for a user that they claim violates the TOS for access to the network is not a violation of your federal privacy.

In your magic scenario, you would have to put your equipment in the flow between other's network somewhere.  That would most likely be illegal as I would imagine you are not authorized to get between those networks or premises.  If it were authorized, at most it would be a breach of contract I would assume, and not hacking as you had the right to modify the traffic and equipment, but you did so in a manner that was outside the good faith contract between ISPs.
2013-02-28 11:41:25 AM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: If you can figure out some way to legally interpose your router between Disney and their ISP, then have at it. But I can tell you, it's going to involve some breaking and entering, and that ends that whole "legally" bit.


Once upon a time, I was a contractor for ABC Radio, a Disney company. While I was there, a 6U Cisco router in the offices I was responsible for started to fail. Disney's WAN guys didn't even know it was on their network, wouldn't believe it was part of their network since it wasn't in their documentation and actually accused me of putting unauthorized equipment on their network. Because, you know, $50,000, 100lb. routers are super-easy to come by.

So what I'm saying is, it might not be as hard as you'd think.
2013-02-28 11:28:51 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: so if I were to find a way to pull this off and redirect Disney's home page to Brazzers.com...it's all good and legal


If people were trying to use your system to get to Disney, yes.
2013-02-28 11:28:31 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: so if I were to find a way to pull this off and redirect Disney's home page to Brazzers.com...it's all good and legal?


If you own the network, yeah, you can.
2013-02-28 11:28:05 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: Theaetetus: Weaver95: wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?

I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?  if comcast is hacking your browser and redirecting your communications...well, if I did that I'm pretty sure someone would find me and throw me in jail.  but a corporation does it and suddenly the law doesn't apply?

They're not hacking your browser, they're doing a redirect. Same exact thing you get half the time when you go to a public wifi spot, fire up a browser and go to google.com and get redirected to the wifi provider's splash page asking for that day's code or to look at an advertisement or whatnot. The redirection happens entirely outside your browser - your computer thinks it's actually displaying google's home page to you.

so if I were to find a way to pull this off and redirect Disney's home page to Brazzers.com...it's all good and legal?


If you owned the router upstream of Disney's home page, then yes.
For example, you probably own a home router. You can freely add a DNS table to it to do that redirect, and anyone on your home network will get porn instead of princesses, and that's completely legal.

However, you probably don't own the router at Disney's ISP, so you'd have to hack into someone  else's computer to change that, and that would be illegal.

Basically, you can modify your own gear so that it sends incorrect responses to anyone asking  it for information, but you can't modify others'.
2013-02-28 11:25:45 AM
1 votes:

endosymbiont: Except that copyright holders (Disney, Universal, etc.) file "John Doe" suits, and then subpoena the records of ISPs for torrent activity. If the plaintiff copyright holder doesn't like what it sees, it files a DMCA notice and takedown, which then probably counts as one of the "six strikes" that Comcast is locking up your browser based on.


Other way around... The copyright holders can't simply subpoena the records of ISPs on a fishing trip - to get that subpoena, they have to show that their copyrighted work was distributed by a specific IP address, and then they subpoena the records to find out which ISP subscriber had that IP at the time. Plus, as you know, filing those suits are a lot more expensive than sending a DMCA takedown.

Additionally, DMCA takedowns don't really apply to torrents. They're part of the safe harbor provisions for when a site is  hosting copyrighted material, like YouTube.

No, what they do is search someplace like pirate bay for one of their own copyrighted works, and then start downloading that file from the swarm, keeping track of all the source IPs of the seeders. Then* they file the suit to find those IPs.

*or rather, they search around for everything else shared by that same source IP, because it's a lot better to go after someone distributing 30 or 40 works than to go after someone distributing a single one.
2013-02-28 11:25:23 AM
1 votes:

BigLuca: Hidemy

ass

Hidemyass is one of MANY vpn providers that keeps logs and will readily provide them.
If you're going to go looking for a VPN service, you really need to scrutinize their privacy policies to see what you're actually getting.

And it's a lot like web hosting, in that it's freaking impossible to find any kind of objective reviews that aren't thinly disguised shills for one service or other.
2013-02-28 11:20:53 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?

I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?  if comcast is hacking your browser and redirecting your communications...well, if I did that I'm pretty sure someone would find me and throw me in jail.  but a corporation does it and suddenly the law doesn't apply?


They're not hacking your browser, they're doing a redirect. Same exact thing you get half the time when you go to a public wifi spot, fire up a browser and go to google.com and get redirected to the wifi provider's splash page asking for that day's code or to look at an advertisement or whatnot. The redirection happens entirely outside your browser - your computer thinks it's actually displaying google's home page to you.
2013-02-28 11:16:11 AM
1 votes:

wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?


That's exactly what this sounds like.
2013-02-28 11:04:47 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?


IANAL, but any request you make over the Internet through an ISP is just that -- a request.  You can claim your browsing habits are none of the government's business (good luck with that BTW), but the ISP must have visibility into your requests to process them in the first place.  As long as they're not using or distributing the information in illegal ways that have more to do with discrimination or identity theft than service, they're good.  So strike that.
It's not "hijacking" in the sense most people believe because the browser's first activity is to establish a connection with the ISP, at which point the ISP can respond by sending whatever HTTP content it wants.  Most don't but a common exception are the login screens you get when you try to use a hotel's connection -- your first request gets redirected to a login page.  In this case it's sending an obnoxious pop-up and filtering your other requests.  Technically this is rather routine -- a web server can do the same thing -- though I never expected an ISP to do it.  It's really drastic.

They're not invading your privacy beyond legal limits, they're not physically altering your browser, and they're not doing anything to the content you're requesting, per se.  This is really more like a Denial of Service or a security policy gone horribly wrong; much like your local utility cutting off the power for some reason or other.  They're entitled to do that.  The only real alternative is to say "fark you Comcast" and switch providers due to bad quality of service, except they have a monopoly in many areas so most people are screwed.  However, this is something people have been screaming about for years while the only entity with the power to bust up the residential ISPs -- the federal government -- has absolutely zero inclination to do anything about it.
2013-02-28 11:04:04 AM
1 votes:
FTA:  "However, the ISP stresses that no accounts will be terminated under the copyright alert program. "We will never use account termination as a mitigation measure under the CAS. "

Oh, whew.  They will continue to allow me to pay them while they refuse to provide the service for which I am paying.  They won't stop charging me, at least!  What a relief.  As long as they keep getting their money, I'm happy.  I'd hate for Comcast to suffer.
2013-02-28 11:03:28 AM
1 votes:

ArkAngel: MmmmBacon: Meh, the whole thing is stupid. I don't download copyrighted materials, so I'm not worried about this issue very much, but I do play some games that download their updates via a Peer-to-Peer system very similar to downloading torrents. I know I would be viciously pissed if Comcast blocked my web browsing because I happen to play games that act in a similar fashion to BitTorrent.

I believe you have to be reported first by one of the copyright holders, so you should be safe.


Maybe. Except that copyright holders (Disney, Universal, etc.) file "John Doe" suits, and then subpoena the records of ISPs for torrent activity. If the plaintiff copyright holder doesn't like what it sees, it files a DMCA notice and takedown, which then probably counts as one of the "six strikes" that Comcast is locking up your browser based on. There really isn't any entity looking out for the consumer or for fairness at any of these stages. If you use bittorrent for totally legal stuff, you could still probably get caught in the cross-hairs of this stuff.
2013-02-28 10:49:20 AM
1 votes:

Weaver95: wingnut396: Is it really a browser hijack?  Sure it may look like that, but is Comcast really hijacking your browser?  I would guess they are just using their switching and monitoring environment to intercept and redirect http requests to their alert system.  If that is the case, wouldn't a VPN connection pretty much defeat this 'hijack'?

I have a better question - how does this policy NOT violate currently existing computer crimes laws?  if comcast is hacking your browser and redirecting your communications...well, if I did that I'm pretty sure someone would find me and throw me in jail.  but a corporation does it and suddenly the law doesn't apply?


I would imagine it is the TOS to 'protect the network for all users' or some such.  That and their lawyers will be better than yours.
2013-02-28 10:45:05 AM
1 votes:
I thought this was why we, er, other people enable bittorrent client encryption.
2013-02-28 10:26:02 AM
1 votes:
farking vpns, how do they work?

/ Even if you don't torrent, you should be using a vpn
// Small cost for much better privacy
2013-02-28 10:14:05 AM
1 votes:
Remember its not illegal as long as no one successfully sues.
2013-02-28 09:40:21 AM
1 votes:

MmmmBacon: Meh, the whole thing is stupid. I don't download copyrighted materials, so I'm not worried about this issue very much, but I do play some games that download their updates via a Peer-to-Peer system very similar to downloading torrents. I know I would be viciously pissed if Comcast blocked my web browsing because I happen to play games that act in a similar fashion to BitTorrent.


I believe you have to be reported first by one of the copyright holders, so you should be safe.
2013-02-28 02:38:16 AM
1 votes:
Comcast has chosen a browser "hijack," making it impossible for customers to browse the Internet, but without interrupting VOIP and other essential services

is that even legal? anyway, come get some. your terrorist attacks mean nothing to me. and i didn't just torrent Backdoor Sluts 9 - i ripped and upped 1-15 in 720p h.264. also, i've been seeding the entire Metallica discography for like 100 years now. i'm not even behind 2 boxxies. i'm just sitting here waiting. you wanna do this thing, comcast? i'll meet you after school by the flagpole at 4:20, and imma gonna kick your ass.
 
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