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+ - Comcast Tells Customers to Stop Using Tor Browser->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast agents have reportedly contacted customers who use Tor, a web browser that is designed to protect the user’s privacy while online, and said their service can get terminated if they don’t stop using Tor. According to Deep.Dot.Web, one of those calls included a Comcast customer service agent named Jeremy..."
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Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 286

Again, arguing semantics, but see my point about depriving someone of liberty. If I put you in a padded cell the first time I see any indication that you have any inclinations that you 'might' at some point think about committing a crime the system works In theory. (heck if we want to be really oppressive about it, I can envision a system where the only way to get a baseball bat is to requisition one at an approved 'practice cage') I agree that practicality aside this would require huge increases in manpower for both the surveillance and enforcement side of the puzzle, and that society as it is right now would never stand for that sort of invasion of privacy, but slippery slope man.

Comment: Re:A detail being left out here: (Score 1) 286

While possible, I doubt the case would have reached a conviction in that case, (or at least there would have been a slap on the wrist style plea bargain) rather than a full blown 'fruit of the poisonous tree' style evidential suppression. Instead I expect the defense would have looked for a more mens rea style defense. Granted fighting that sort of fight would require a somewhat capable lawyer with a decent understanding of the technical details of the case, but given the ultimate result of this case, it doesn't seem like the defense was lacking adequate legal council.

Ultimately I think being able to say you won (or pled out) the case because you accidentally downloaded a mislabeled file would sit better with most people who might inquire about it in the future, than saying you won the case because of a legal technicality that prevented the court from being able to 'prove' your guilt.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 4, Insightful) 286

These child porn cases where the perp 'wins' are always tough. On the one hand there is the emotional plea to protect children and what not, but the other side of the coin is that such 'save the children' type laws are almost invariably used (abused?) in cases they were never meant to cover. A similar case can be made against anti-terrorism acts (such as the much maligned PATRIOT act) following 9/11. When people get too emotionally invested in something they tend to over react, often failing to consider the longer implications in a 'knee-jerk' reaction to make sure this 'never happens again'.

The reality is that we cannot prevent every crime from happening without also sacrificing every personal liberty we have, submitting to constant surveillance and living in conditions that would make the average prison feel like freedom. This is a slippery slope, and I feel that legally this case is a win for the masses, even if it means a guilty man avoids any sort of legal punishment. Course if it's any consolation for those 'he got off too easy' types, Michael Dreyer is probably now isolated from much of his former friends and family, and will likely have difficulty finding work. Even if he does seek treatment for his sexual deviancy, and never looks at or touches another child for the rest of his life; he will always be painted with the brush of a 'child abuser'.

Comment: Re:The appcrap boom is over (Score 4, Insightful) 171

by Panaflex (#47462997) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Amen! I'm know there were some gems in the rough, and also some amazing apps that I never saw, but by-and-large the emphasis on shiny marketing and top tens over quality has overshadowed the market for a couple of years.

I have some genuine good ideas I'd like to throw at an app, but I'm looking at the market and I don't really want to touch it.

Comment: Have they looked in their own backyard? (Score 0) 190

by Panaflex (#47350253) Attached to: NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

What about the amount of pollutants released with the launch of this satellite? Solid rockets and hydrazine aren't exactly environmentally friendly when you burn a million pounds in 12 minutes. The production of H2 and LOX is pretty dirty also, even if the final product is water.

I may sound a little pedantic, but at least I'm not roaming the globe looking like Chuckles the CO2 clown...

Comment: Re: Straight Talk GSM or Ting CDMA (Score 1) 146

by Panaflex (#47342657) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

I second straightalk. You don't need a credit card - just buy the $45 dollar sim kit and you can choose att, tmobile or verizon - a full month unlimited talk, text, data all included. They also have a 60 dollar international plan.

Don't screw up the activation - dont port your number. Just get a new number - otherwise you have phone hell. And straighttalk phone service is awful. But the phone service is great. Go figure...

Comment: Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (Score 1) 87

by Linsaran (#47239263) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

I don't necessarily see all of those things as problems, but let's go through them, shall we.

1) Anonymity: While it is possible for a dedicated person with resources to track crypto transactions (since by it's very nature all transactions are stored in a giant public ledger), the transactions themselves do not identify you. It is in this sense pseudonymous, you know which wallet has bitcoin X in it, since you can follow it's path on the blockchain, but since you cannot identify who a said wallet belongs to without access to information from outside the block chain. As you can create neigh infinite addresses for a personal wallet, and need never give the same one out twice, it's hard to be sure that any given address belongs to any given person. This is not to say that bit coin is untraceable, because it by design is very traceable, it's just that used correctly you can conduct transactions without actually revealing your identity, in much the same way that using cash doesn't necessarily reveal your identity.

2) Fraud protection: On one hand, the fact that bitcoin transactions are irreversible is a good thing, a merchant who accepts bitcoin need never worry about whether they're going to get paid for their services. There is no risk to accept bitcoins because they can never be charged-back, unlike credit cards which can actually result in a chargeback up to 6 months after a sale is complete. As far as someone committing fraudulent transactions using your bitcoins, there is no real protection against that, other than securing your wallet. If someone stole your money clip and spent the cash in it, there's no fraud protection against that either. The lesson to be learned is to better protect your money clip, or in the case of bitcoin, encrypt your wallet.

3) Susceptibility to loss: if you can't be bothered to back up your wallet, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Losing access to your wallet can happen, but with a minimum amount of effort can be prevented. People who fail to do regular back ups of their computers are just tempting fate. And besides, you can lose a real wallet just as easy (arguably easier) than a digital one, so susceptibility to loss is not unique to crypto.

4) user unfriendliness: this is really the only 'problem I really agree with you on, but it's really just a matter of time before the pieces click together.

Comment: Re:At least there's always... (Score 1) 475

by Linsaran (#47009021) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

While I don't believe for a second that Verizon won't jump on the data cap bandwagon once everyone else is doing it, they haven't spent the last few years pushing data caps onto their customers.

Except that they have. My data plan started at unlimited, then got moved down to 5gb, then got moved down to 2gb, and finally moved down to 2gb shared between my entire family.

You're confusing Verizon with Verizon wireless, a related, but independently managed corporation. You're probably right that Verizon will start pushing caps at some point, but Verizon (the telecommunications company) =/= Verizon Wireless (the cellular phone company)

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