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Sprint's Wireless Broadband - And What A TOS! 286

Xpresso85 writes "Just a few weeks ago, Sprint started offering Broadband Direct in my area , it's a $44/month wireless Internet service. Their Terms Of Service is one of the worst yet. You can not portscan, probe, run game or Webservers of any kind, upload or download viruses, use anonymous e-mail, view porno, post anything vulgar or hateful, you cant even encourage anything illegal. They also reserve the right to enter your home or property, monitor your activities, and "share" your personal info with other companies. Lastly, they restrict you from sending out spam, I guess they don't like competition. That's one service I won't be getting anytime in the near future!"
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Sprint's Wireless Broadband - And What A TOS!

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  • And how do you scratch things out if you sign up online?
  • With clauses that attempt to alter the material and content of the users interaction with the internet isnt Sprint volunteering to 'censor' the material. And isnt it necessary for Sprint to maintain that they are not 'responsible for the material you transmit to any degree' in order to maintain the 'common carrier' moniker? If they push these TOS arent they asking to be liable for the material you do up/download?? Can an Honest Lawyer(TM) please explain...

    Also, this TOS (POS maybe a better acronym) in one breath says "you cannot up/download any porn/copyright material in violation" and then goes on to say "the internet contains porn/copyright violations" and we are not responsible if you dload them - you are! These double talking crooks are talking out of both sides of their mouths - on one hand I am expected to be capable and diligent to exclude these things and on the other they claim they can not/will not/dont feel like being responsible to act in kind...

    These bastards think they have found a way to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too(TM)®©
  • At least read what you are posting about first. It does not say you can not view pornography or send anonymous email. It is basically the same as any other. Don't do anything illegal Darkstar
  • by Fixer ( 35500 )
    Sprint ION finally launched, did it?

    Oh, look honey, it's left me a present..What is this? Wow, a LEGAL TURD! Muy grande!

    I used to work for this company. I am ashamed. But, this was hardly a surprise coming from the company that always follows the market... with a two year lag..
    Innovation? What's that?

    Expect a loss this Q.

  • My landlord is required to notify me before entering the premises, unless it is an emergency.

    Random people who enter without notice are presumed to be criminals and will be treated as such.

    Say hello to Mr. Mossberg.

  • And here come the ~50 arguments over whether portsnanning is more like trying doorknobs, looking at doorknobs, windows, driving down the street and other fun analagies.

    If you ask me, it isn't like trying to open doors. All a portscan does is see what services a machine runs. Mail? Web? FTP? SSh?... It's like a house has doors for certain things and you're seeing what each is for.

  • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:04AM (#537330) Journal
    Get this bit:

    10.16 You grant to Sprint or any appointed subcontractors an irrevocable license to enter into or onto your Premises during normal business hours, Monday through Saturday, in order to install, repair, replace or remove Equipment. This license will survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land and inure to the parties' successors and assigns. (my bold)

    Is that legal? You sign a contract that means when you sell your house it still applies? They can still bundle their heavies in to fiddle with equipment even though you moved out four years ago and Mr and Mrs Numbskull that moved in haven't a clue what that funny wire in the wall is for?

    I'm pretty sure that over here in the UK you can't put terms and conditions like that on a contract. Isn't there something in the US constitution?

    Oh, I had to look up 'inure' on www.dictionary.com.

    "To habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection; accustom"

    And it still didn't make much sense...

    Baz

  • by d_pirolo ( 150996 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @07:13AM (#537331)
    Your response made perfect sense to me to start with. The part about refusing to pay for services or goods not rendered, I really like that. Too many companies in today's economy forget that the mainstay of good business is to provide good products and services, not to fool the customer into thinking the products or services are good when they're really not.

    However, you really go downhill from there. You clearly have no conception of what is means to be a capitalist. You mispell the word, for goodness' sake. It's CAPITALISM, as in capital, as in transferable resources. Corporatism, which is the true target of your ire, is not synonymous with capitalism. The problem with the economy in the US is not that is is capitalist, but that it is less and less capitalist everyday.

    In a capitalist economy, the proper function of the government is to provide and protect access to information. I should be able to find out that cigarettes are bad, Firestone tires will kill me, or whether the fruit I'm buying is genetically modified or not. Our government, however, fails to do that. I believe the failure is direct response to the entitlement mentality engendered by the government beginning with the New Deal. The government no longer protects our access to information, which means that AOL/Time Warner effectively controls what Americans believe and what information they have access to. It's a shame, really.

    Corporations take advantage of that lack of information by providing shitty goods and services. That's why so many companies are intent on loading their products with new features instead of reliability. They know that more than likely, we won't be able to find out how reliable their product is before we buy it, but we sure will notice the pretty box with the big list of features.

    The real answer to corporatism is not naive anti-globalism and an end to capitalism, the answer is to educate people to understand their alternatives and make reliable information freely available. End consumerism and you will end corporatism. End capitalism, and you will end freedom.
  • The thing that turns me off most about the Sprint TOS is section 7.1.20 which prohibits me from using my Sprint wireless internet connection to telecommute to my job. That's pretty stupid!
  • That's what the "back door" is for....
  • With clauses that attempt to alter the material and content of the users interaction with the internet isnt Sprint volunteering to 'censor' the material. And isnt it necessary for Sprint to maintain that they are not 'responsible for the material you transmit to any degree' in order to maintain the 'common carrier' moniker? If they push these TOS arent they asking to be liable for the material you do up/download?? Can an Honest Lawyer(TM) please explain...

    Also, this TOS (POS maybe a better acronym) in one breath says "you cannot up/download any porn/copyright material in violation" and then goes on to say "the internet contains porn/copyright violations" and we are not responsible if you dload them - you are! These double talking crooks are talking out of both sides of their mouths - on one hand I am expected to be capable and diligent to exclude these things and on the other they claim they will not be responsible to act in kind...

    These bastards think they have found a way to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too(TM)®©
  • Actually, it doesn't matter whether it's "boilerplate". The fact remains that commonly "boilerplated" terms of service are overly broad, and _could_ easily be used to subvert the rights of the individual, simply because the company chose to reserve overbearing rights in its favor by using the broad language.

    Any time you have to depend on claims of "We wouldn't really do that, it's just for our protection", wonder why the language isn't equally broad in your own favor for _your_ own protection.

  • A friend of mine overseas set up a firewall and asked me to port scan it so he could close up any unneeded services. I think thats a legitimate use of a portscanner.
  • Agreed wholeheartedly. I also read it in depth and saw nothing about porno or entering your home or sharing your personal information (Ok, well, usage stats, but nothing "personally identifiable".)

    AT&T@home has similar req's, but even do a better job of notifying you that if your perfectly acceptable use becomes some sort of a bandwidth hog to your neighbors, you will be limited immediately and without notice. Oh, and they just clamped down on all uploads...

    But hey...it's cheap. Admit it.

    --The statistical likelihood of your existence is so small as to render you impossible.

  • How about Gas Company having right to access your installation in order to prevent/fix any emergencies?
    Do you think their right to do that expires when you leave that house and new owner can kick them out and endanger whole neighborhood?

    All they are saying here is that if they go out and install some of their equipment on your property they should have a right to access it even if you are no longer owner of this property.
  • "7.1.21. run programs or servers that provide network services to others through the Services which includes, but is not limited to, web hosting, multi-user interactive forums, game servers..." Does this mean I can't play http://www.zone.com/boggle [zone.com]?
    FoxPro Home Page [microsoft.com]
  • Is this correct? I've wondered about this for a while, actually. If I, willingly and in good mental health, signed a contract saying that I could not make a statement of any sort without first obtaining permission from Bill Gates, would I actually be bound by it? I would have agreed to be bound by it, wouldn't I? The judge can rule it unconstitutional, but what if I signed it knowing that?

    I personally believe that, in this situation, I should be held by it. Of course, anyone who agrees to not speak unless they get it approved by Bill Gates is obviously not sane... :)

  • Argue all you want about your right to port scan but the reality is that you have no such right to probe other people's computers for vulnerabilities like that.

    Yes you do. It was confirmed recently in court.

  • Since all the traffic from the Internet to your machine (or vice versa) has to go through Sprint's routers, they can easily monitor the traffic there. If there is a steady flow of data on certain ports and they themselves can't access your machine on these ports, they should be quick to figure things out, if the router admin in question is not a complete moron. It is quite trivial from then to directly access your box with a faked IP which recently had a connection to your server.

    If you only grant access to certain IPs on the same subnet, it wouldn't be so easy to find out, although in that case they aren't probably that interested in your traffic. A sniffer in their wireless base station should do the trick, though.


    --
  • I mean that seems kind of harsh.

    I suppose anything can stand until it is challenged in court though, right?
  • So, in other words, if they decide that they want only Windoze on their network (read: Microsoft leans on them a bit...), can they just boot all MacOS/Linux/BSD/etc. users off, saying that they might "impair the Services?!"

    The first part says that they may limit your OS. The second part says if you happen to choose another OS or hardware device, it better not fsck up the network for others. But read carefully, it really includes any device including Windoze machines. So if someone hacks your NT box and somehow uses it for a DOS attack. Then you are violating 2.5.

  • Of course, that's because it's formatted for Windoze standard character assignments... which reminds me of another scary part:

    2.5 You will ensure that any hardware or software you provide is compatible with the Services.... If Sprint notifies you that hardware or software provided by you ... is likely to impair the Services, you agree to immediately eliminate the impairment. Sprint may suspend the Services until the impairment is corrected.

    So, in other words, if they decide that they want only Windoze on their network (read: Microsoft leans on them a bit...), can they just boot all MacOS/Linux/BSD/etc. users off, saying that they might "impair the Services?!"

    "...the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

  • by Ergo2000 ( 203269 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:18AM (#537353) Homepage

    If you ask me, it isn't like trying to open doors. All a portscan does is see what services a machine runs. Mail? Web? FTP? SSh?... It's like a house has doors for certain things and you're seeing what each is for.

    And in reply I'd say that if you weren't explicitly told it's none of your business and you're not welcome. If a house has many doors it isn't my right to check what they're for unless there's big signs welcoming me in. What about people scanning for backdoors : They're not just checking to see what they're for...they're looking for victims.

  • Just because I know some Sprint Lawyers/marketroids/other evill PHB types will read this - and I have the karma to burn:

    It takes real scum (like you) to foist this kind of crap on the public, just to fill the corporate coffers -- You'll First Against The Wall when the revolution comes. It may even be soon - and trust me: it will come - it always does..
    Why dont you monkeys do something constructive - call the Boss(TM) right now and tell them these TOS are immoral. "Immoral you say, who cares about morals - we are trying to make money! If you dont like it -- dont buy our service, buy it from someone else! This is the Real Word(TM)®©" And you've just exactly made my point.

    Fact is there is no one else - you provide a necessary public infrastructure... and again, eventually slugs like yourselves will have to answer why you spent your adult lives trying to screw your neighbours with your well funded hammer... all because you are selfish, irresponsible and greedy.

    Fucking Assholes.

  • From the TOS
    7.1.2 post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, indecent, profane, hateful, bigoted or otherwise objectionable information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions, constituting or encouraging, conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law, including without limitation U.S. export control laws and regulations;

    Yea!!! Now we can TOS /. trolls! As long as the Religious Right(properly pronounced "Dogmatic Wrong") are in control of the lawmaking in the US and sodomy remains illegal, we can TOS people for linking to goatse.cx!

    Steven
  • by King Babar ( 19862 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:19AM (#537366) Homepage
    ...but I suspect that this is merely to give them carte blanche to "kick ban" harrassing folk. Same with their policy of port scans and the like (as they probably don't want to have people contacting their sysadmins saying that there are script kiddies trying to break into their networks).

    Yup. This particular TOS is pretty much designed to make sure that they can enforce something at some time rather than everything at every time. Specifically, they mention that:

    10.4 Sprint's failure to enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement will not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between parties nor trade practice will act to modify any provision of this Agreement.

    In other words, Susie runs SuSe and sshd on her home box so she can use, e.g., scp from work to home and back. Now, that *could* be seen as an illegal server (although there could be a loophole due to the fact that the TOS only bans servers used by "others"). But in fact, they would never bother with this. On the other hand, Ned is a napster user who is not only sucking up all the local bandwidth but arguably sharing MP3s in a way that could be construed to involve copyright infringement. They will probably tell him to knock it off.

    The most worrisome point of this TOS is one that I haven't seen mentioned yet:

    8.1 You understand and agree that Sprint's network gathers information about internet usage such as the sites visited, session lengths, bit rates and number of messages and bytes passed. Sprint uses this information in the aggregate. Sprint may share this aggregated information with other parties from time to time. Sprint will not use or disclose any personal identifiable information regarding internet usage unless compelled by a court order or subpoena or [sic]You consent to the use or disclosure [sic]or to protect Sprint's Services and facilities.

    I've marked possible typos with [sic] here. One problem here is that there is arguably never any good (non-marketing) reason to collect "personal identifiable information" in the first place, since this is the kind of thing that is ripe for subpoena. Indeed, most corporations are learning the lesson that they should do things like forcibly delete email and log information pretty rapidly, just so that third parties won't have anything to go after. Now, it's possible that Sprint never really does store personal identifiable information except email, but they don't say that.

    Problem two is that even if they only collect information about web-browsing behavior in the aggregate, they (or other marketers) can often have other information about you that can be used to do an alarmingly good job of determining who surfed where...and targeting you for directed marketing campaigns in the process. Now, there may be very little escape from the Database Nation these days, and you can argue that at least they are being frank, but this kind of thing still gives me the creeps.

  • ...survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land...

    So (if actually legal) this clause says that if any previous owner of your property has ever had Sprint, Sprint has these rights over you?

    Yikes!

  • I'm fairly sure that term there is illegal in that it violates case law based definitions of property rights and contract law.

    For one thing it says "this contract which defines a customer-provider relationship lets us do something with your property in perpetuity even after you terminate our contract". That is bullshit and I don't believe it would stand up in court anywhere. It's your property, you can let them in or not as you please. If they have a problem (i.e. they are leasing you equipment that you don't own and you won't return) they can sue you for it, but that doesn't give them the legal right to break into your home and take it.

  • Hmm.. I wouldnt expect so. The service is provided by agreement and payment. If there are terms of service, and you accept them, then you are bound by said terms. I dont mean to be rude, but if we stop for a second (in all seriousness) and think about that phrase, it all comes back to terms. Terms of service. You may pay for it, but you also agree to abide by the rules. What I would propose is that you would/should find some form of enforcing your own privacy, such as encrypting your mail with PGP or GPG. I havent heard of a free SSL proxy out there, but that may work, although with ISPs now using enforced proxying of http/https (does proxied https requests bother anyone *else*?) requests even that may not work. But PGP/GPG mail and news would work to some extent. I'm sure that put in the situation you would find some way to guarantee your own privacy when the corporation behind you fails to do so.

    ---
  • For #2, did you read the rest of the item? About how they can access your house at any time AFTER THE AGREEMENT IS CANCELLED AND THE SERVICE IS TERMINATED. Oh... there's also that small part that says THEIR ACCESS CANNOT BE REVOKED AND IT WILL PERSIST ON THE PROPETY/LAND FOR ALL FUTURE OWNERS.

    For some inane reason this post was moderated as "Offtopic" when it is clearly not. It is specifically referring to section 10.16 which states:

    10.16 You grant to Sprint or any appointed subcontractors an irrevocable license to enter into or onto your Premises during normal business hours, Monday through Saturday, in order to install, repair, replace or remove Equipment. This license will survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land and inure to the parties' successors and assigns.

    IANAL, but this sounds like Sprint claims that once you've ever used their service, they have a permanent right to enter your property without your permission even after you cancel the service. Not good.

  • 5.1 Although Sprint will make commercially reasonable efforts to maintain the Services, you may experience service interruptions

    I have a real problem with this idea. If Sprint is unable to deliver the product (the service) I do not pay. Simple. I dont care what you feel is "commercially reasonable". I have a VERY hard time with paying for something they are not providing - under any circumstance. Standard 'customer' protection laws should exist that nullify any attempt for anyone to include the above clause. How would sprint like it if I felt I was not 'commercially reasonable' for me to make my payments on time - or at all? The pizza you ordered has 2 pcs missing because delivering a full pie was "commercailly unreasonable", I get one shoe without a lace - but I have no right to ask for a discount to replace the lost lace... the TOS we are seeing with everything these days is showing one thing: American Capatalism has bread a monopoly in mostly every industry.

    If it were as simple as 'making a choice to a better product' (read without these TOS) people would do it. The simple fact is the barrier to entry in most markets (of any consequence) is so high that only a few companies can try... and when they do - it is much easier to collude and exclude any possible interlopers.

    The power being demonstrated in this Sprint TOS is really only an indicator of a much larger problem... unfortunatly it is systemic to the American corporate-centric economy.. power concentrates, it is easier to collude than compete once a certain state has been achieved (as it has been), Capatalism ends in Monopolistic oppression... Anti-Trust laws are intended to stop this... but the same people who run the country also own the business... fat chance of any of this power being given away freely (ie a strengthening of Anti-Trust law...).

    So tell me again; Why did America elect a Republicrat instead of a Honets leader like say umm anyone except a Republicrat? Maybe Ralph Nader would run for President and put an end to this crap.(?!?!) Oh yeah, he did... and America got to watch their 'democracy' in action in Florida... A pretty nice 'play' if you ask me - almost enough to convince people their is a difference between the two parties, and that they should NEVER think of voting third party - it is obviously a wasted vote... *shudder* and this is really what people think...

    Get ready world - you have not yet recieved all the TOS for your futures...

  • I don't see the section that prohibits viewing of porno.

    As for port scans I see port scans being used to preclude a DOS attack as being banned, but what about an innocent port scan (I occasionally do them to test security on systems I own across the internet...)? The text of the acceptable use policy makes port scans used for a DoS attack unacceptable (as well it should), but port scans in general do not appear to be outlawed.

  • I was being silly, I know they aren't going to enter your home without permission. But why would they have it in their TOS? It just looks stupid.

    Finkployd

  • I was watching T.V. this weekend and saw an AT&T broadband commercial touting their download speeds by saying that you can download a song at lightning-fast speeds. Interestingly enough, their TOS says:

    Any .mp3 files that you wish to distribute must not be copyrighted material. Most .mp3 files found on the internet today are illegal copies of copyrighted music. Distribution of these files violates copyright infringement law and can not be distributed over the AT&T Road Runner service.

    I noticed problems with this part of the TOS before this commercial and when I tried to point out the incongruity, they told me that they don't interpret legal documents. I responded that I was merely pointing out a mistake in their terms of service and that I intended to violate that specific clause by creating an .mp3 of my own (poor) musical performance that would be copyrighted (with myself as the copyright holder) and distribute the file over their service. The forwarded the e-mail to their abuse department and that was the last I heard from them.

    I figure either someone got the message and the TOS hasn't been updated yet. :)

    Of course, the more likely scenario is that their ad agency isn't bright enough to breathe, let alone be familiar with their TOS!

  • by startled ( 144833 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @11:31AM (#537402)
    Hey, everyone respond to the highly moderated troll! I'll join in now; otherwise what kind of successful troll would it be?

    I know we love to have these "devil's advocate" sorts of posts to make us think more, but sometimes we really have trouble finding good ones, and it gets tiresome. For example, how many times do we need to see this line: I REALLY wish people woudl read posts before flaming away. Yeah, yeah, I know-- RTFA. Do you realize RTFA is NOT a sufficient rebuttal? Does it occur to you that people may indeed have the expressed opinions after reading the TOS? Every point listed is, at the very least, quite debatable:

    1) attempting to send e-mail or newsgroup articles or postings using a name or address of someone other than yourself, attempting to impersonate any person or using forged headers or other identifying information.
    There is a lot of "or" in that sentence. What qualifies as a forged header, or forged identifying information? Would the anonymizer count? How about in front of a tech-illiterate judge, with Sprint's lawyers vs. your small-ass pocketbook?

    2) You grant to Sprint or any appointed subcontractors an irrevocable license to enter into or onto your Premises during normal business hours, Monday through Saturday, in order to install, repair, replace or remove Equipment. This license will survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land and inure to the parties' successors and assigns.
    This goes beyond the right most service providers have. I sure haven't granted my DSL provider permission to come into my house and take the modem back, especially when I'm not home. And the whole bit about the right surviving termination of the agreement-- not likely to stand up in court, since if you no longer agree to the contract, you no longer agree to any of it, including this part. Still, with the latest legislation of business models, the courts seem remarkably anti-consumer. Are you willing to bet on him ruling your way when, a month after you cancel service, a Sprint rep walks by your window and sees a bag of weed inside on the table?

    3) Their list of stuff you can't send, if you READ IT PROPERLY, explains that wehat they are saying is that you can't do anything illegal. They even SAY THAT. How hard is that to understand, hmm?
    How hard is this sentence to understand: "you may not post or transmit any... objectionable information of any kind, including without limitation, any transmissions, constituting or encouraging, conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law, including without limitation U.S. export control laws and regulations."
    Notice they say, right there, right for you-- "including without limitation". Which means that all that is just clarification text, and what they've really prohibited is "objectionable information". You don't think that's a little excessive?

    I REALLY wish people would read posts before flaming away.
  • You think it is spelled out in plain English. It looks questionable to me.

    This Sprint Broadband Direct Customer Agreement (?Agreement?) is entered into between Sprint Communications Company LP (?Sprint? or ?we?) and the customer designated on the Work Order (?Customer? or ?you?)

    And I see that Slashdot agrees with me:
    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted.

    Reason: Junk character post.

    So I had to do some editing to get it accepted.

  • Did you even read the thing? It states that they do NOT share your personal information, only network usage statistics in aggregate.

    They can only enter your home for installation, removal, or repair, not for monitoring, this is normal as this is what your phone, cable, utility companies do also.

    They don't prohibit downloading of anything, only transmission of viruses, spam, warez, etc.

    The only truly objectionable thing I saw was no running servers, but that might be a good thing if their infrastructure can't handle that. Personally, if it can't, I'm not going to use it. Who would want to game on a server running on a wireless connection anyway?

  • AT&T @Home is the same way.

    I recently moved into a @Home area. I called in advance to set up an install date -- but the system saw the phone number I was calling from, realized that I couldn't have @Home in that area, played a message and hung up on me! I eventually had to call Excite @Home's toll number and have them connect me. (And repeat this over and over while I had tech problems with them.)

    That'll teach me to have a mobile phone with an LA area code while living in Seattle. I had to use a friend's land line with the proper area code/prefix when I tired of the toll charges.

    I wrote a nasty letter to ATT @Home, and mentioned this insanity to everyone I talked to over there, but no one could help.

    Corporations are kind of like black holes. Once you attain a certain mass, no customer service can escape.
  • Isn't wireless, which counts as 'public broadcast' covered by much stricter laws, in the USA, than anything going over phone/cable lines? Might explain the harsh rules. Then again, might be standard Corporate Cluelessness(tm).
  • As a lot of posters have pointed out, this is standard legalese boilerplate for a TOS. It looks a lot like the one for @Home [home.com] or for any of the big telco DSL providers (SNET, Verizon, BA, PacBell, etc).

    I find it interesting that most of those others try to ban multiple computers using the connection at one time. SNET in particular (I used to have their service) goes as far as to say [snet.net] that they don't mind you having their DSL modem hooked into a home LAN, so long as you only use the internet from one PC on that LAN at one time. They are, of course, happy to provide additional IPs for an additional fee...

    Anyway, this particular TOS doesn't address that. Apparently they do offer additional IP's, but they don't forbid things like DSL routers or IP Masquerade.

    So basically they're doing what all the other big ISPs are doing. Which is why I'm with a small one [ntplx.net].
  • A grant of access (easement) to enter upon or conduct an activity upon a piece of real estate obviously requires a description of said real estate ("the east 150 feet of lot 24 farquar's plat" or "the west 1/2 of the east 30 acres of the NW 1/4 SE 1/4 of section 26, Burfle Township"). A mailing address is NOT legally sufficient to describe a parcel of land. Lacking a description, an easement or access grant is basically meaningless. "Access to your property..." is non-specific. When they show up at your door waving the agreement, tell them it pertains not to your residence, but instead to some public property like the post office, city/town hall, or the courthouse. As a taxpaying citizen, those are also "your" properties. Lacking a description, it is impossible to state exactly which of "your" properties the agreement affects. In fact, it could pertain to any piece of "personal" (as opposed to real estate) property. So, offer to let them sit on your couch, then throw them out.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • Um, try reading the TOS. They do not ban downloading porn; they can not enter your house as they please; they actually REQUIRE you to have some form of firewall so that NOONE can monitor your computer; and they don't monitor what you do personally, just in aggregate, like every other ISP out there...

    Man, people, please read the linked articles before over-reacting... It's just standard legalese. It may be worded more 'harshly', but it's the same as every major ISP out there. (Well, the requirement that you can't run a server is very @Home-like, and a little much, I do have to admit that.)
  • But they don't say what the equipment will do, and they don't say that that is all that they will do when the enter "to install, repair, replace, or remove equipment". So at minimum they can install arbitrary equipement, and they don't have to tell you what it is. And they get to choose when. (There doesn't seem to be any provision that requires that your, or some other responsible party, allow them entrance.)

    If this thing is (or becomes) legal, then it's quite an arrangement.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.

  • Not all porn is "obscene." Obscene has a specific legal definition, and obscene works have less (no?) legal protection.

    Playboy, for example, is not "obscene."
  • by AntiNorm ( 155641 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @08:08AM (#537428)
    Argue all you want about your right to port scan but the reality is that you have no such right to probe other people's computers for vulnerabilities like that.

    Oh yes you do [slashdot.org].

    ---
    Put your feet out and stop ... climb out and hang ...
  • No it can't.

    Finkployd
  • Too paranoid. I've had my place broken into before. Regardless of what they were doing in my apartment, they broke into it. They would certainly have a gun pulled on them until I make sure they aren't robbing the place and a potential threat to my life.

    Finkployd

  • by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:12AM (#537441)
    They've also decided to ban web browsers IRC clients, and instant messaging. And you are not allowed to receive email unless it is from a Sprint-approved SPAM provider.

    They will also disconnect you if you or any of your relatives own any firearms. And you cannot get service if you are either pro-life or pro-choice. You are not allowed to have any opinion about any political or religious issues.

    And if they catch you attempting connections to slashdot.org, they will send a bunch of guys to your house with Uzis to "reeducate you."

    Scary service, if you ask me.
    --
  • i've read it in depth... and well, there isn't anything in there that isn't "boilerplate"...

    "Don't do anything illegal" - and if you do, they're not liable... as for entering your premises... that's for service/installation. And you can send "anonymous" e-mail... you just can't impersonate someone else.

    I think if you check your ISP's AUP - you'll find a lot of the same stuff...
  • Guns for dummies must be your favourite book.

    That's the best you can do? Sad really.

    Finkployd

  • For #2, did you read the rest of the item? About how they can access your house at any time AFTER THE AGREEMENT IS CANCELLED AND THE SERVICE IS TERMINATED. Oh... there's also that small part that says THEIR ACCESS CANNOT BE REVOKED AND IT WILL PERSIST ON THE PROPETY/LAND FOR ALL FUTURE OWNERS.
  • their website doesn't allow you to get any information on security, pricing, and other stuff.

    This may be because they intend to 'fix' the prices to various regions. Much like the MPAA demands control of the product to maximize profits in all regions - Sprint may be attempting the same. Like airlines charging more/less for the same product depending on the venue through which you shop - this practice is immoral and probably illegal (i forget but it is in some way... although Im sure they practice this in a method that is a classic method to avoid it being technicall illegal - there is a law to prevent this behaviour if I recall - could any honest laywer* please explain. (in Canada at least)).

    What a shamefull mess you Yanks have gotten yourselves into that Sprint would even attempt a TOS like this...

    *Go ahead and reply below with your own punchline to that 'set-up'...
  • "I had an apartment contract that said I could be evicted if I had guests after 2AM."

    You'd be surprised how many have clauses like that.

    By the time of the signing ceremony, the apartment people want you to move in (they've invested time in showing you around, answering your questions, etc.). Both sides have leverage and can use it.

    My routine by now is to plan on spending a good half-hour going over the rental agreement, and to be ready to walk out without having signed if it seems necessary.

    If you look trustworthy there's a 90% chance they'll let you cross out the stupid clauses, initial your changes in the margin, hand it back to them, and get their signature. Voila: a contract you can live with.

    Jamie McCarthy

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My Terms Of Service for my (UK) ISP forbid me from blesphaming.

    I mean, honestly, what the hell is that?
  • Despite the many of us that may have strong feelings on this "freedom" thing it is really in Sprint's best interest to do what they can to make money. They need to report good earnings back to investors just like any other public firm (especially with the recent drop in telecom). The real education needs to be provided to the common at home user that will have their rights taken away by such a blatent disregard for consumer rights. Sure geeks will stay away from Sprint, but that is such a small market it will not effect Sprint unless more is done to inform the rest of the population (99.9% of the population to be more accurate).

    Bingeldac denies any responsibility for the
    spelling and/or grammatical errors above.
  • When I moved into my house, I had to sign a contract with the gas, electric, and water companies. The contract probably lets them come in and play with their equipment whenever. Fine. But when I sell the house I dont have to enforce that contract on the new owners. They have to sign a new contract. If they don't want gas then the gas company will remove the gas meter and supply piping when my contract expires (which is when I move out).

    Thats not how it works with this Sprint contract.

    Consider what happens when you sell the Sprint-wireless house. You agree on a price, decide on a moving date, and then you let slip.

    "Oh yeah, Sprint can come in here and play with this gear during workdays. I dont think they even have to give notice and if they turn up you can't stop them. I signed a contract, you see. Small print is on a website somewhere...".

    It reminds me of all the old terms and restrictions on housing that can apply, and its the reasons we employ lawyers when moving house. They have to check up on all the old documents and stuff. Apparently I cant keep chickens in my yard. Perhaps in future the law guys will tell me about having to let Telcos in...

    Baz

  • Basically, they can kick you off their service for violating their rules. Of course, it also sounds like they can send a smelly, greasy, installation guy over to your house anytime they like! That could be worse...
  • "Sprint can access your house at any time"?? No, Sprint,like almost every other provider of services (inc phone, gas, electricity, etc) have the right to access your premisis DURINGNORMAL WORKING HOURS in order to install, remove, upgrade or repair the equipoment

    The way it is phrased (read it again), it supposedly gives them the right to enter your house even long after you have terminated service with them, and nowhere does it say that the equipment they install has to be related to your service. "Hey, Mr. Jones, you aren't a customer anymore, and you don't have any of our equipment anymore, but in accordance with your contract with us, we have come to install this little widget on your roof." They'd probably not get away with it, but that is what the letter of the contract says.

    I REALLY wish people woudl read posts before flaming away - a good 50% of the posts so far are rendered irrelevant if you read the original TOS!!!

    The major problem with the contract is that it doesn't let you run servers of any kind: chat servers, game servers, FTP servers, whatever. And that is clearly spelled out. Read it yourself.

  • by BrK ( 39585 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:16AM (#537467) Homepage
    I read through the TOS (albeit rather quickly). I missed the part about "No Porn", in fact it did have this in there:
    7.4 The Internet contains unedited materials that may be offensive or objectionable to you. You access these materials at your own risk. Sprint has no control over and accepts no responsibility for these materials. Customer may wish to utilize software designed to limit access to certain material on the Internet.
    Which basically seems to say "Don't come to us if your kiddies are viewing saggytits.com on a regular basis." Not that I really care... Sprint recently cancelled their wireless broadband offering in the metro Detroit area, and I was never applicable for it in the first place.
  • It isn't "their" equipment. You buy the equipment as part of the signup. If you terminate your contract, you can throw it into the trash if you like. If you terminate your contract and owe them money, they should go through the standard legal procedures in case of unpaid bills, not carry out vigilante justice themselves.
  • I'd love if providers started kicking port scanners off their system

    I don't see any problem with port scanning in general. Port scanning doesn't mean someone is breaking into your computer. It may just mean I'm checking one of my own machines for security holes.

    The prices that people are paying is based upon average, amateur fair use and when someone sets up a 24/7 Napster server alongside their FTP server, website, IRC server, etc., they begin unfairly consuming an inordinate and completely financially unjustified amount of bandwidth

    Many of the "legitimate" services eat up much more bandwidth. Sprint broadband uplink speed is 256k, while downlink is 1-5Mbps. Running servers even at full capacity is barely more than listening to high quality audio or video and it's less than running a VNC connection.

  • For better or for worse, it's a free market. If you have a choice in providers, let them know that you will sign up with a provider that doesn't have such draconian terms of service. If they hear from a lot of people, they may change their TOS.
  • If you enter in your zipcode information(like I did), and their service is not available in your area(it wasn't in mine), their website doesn't allow you to get any information on security, pricing, and other stuff. It just shows a page saying their service is not available in your area, and that you can sign up to have them contact you when it is.

    What a load of s**t!

  • ...most of it seems pretty reasonable and it seems like they're giving themselves a clear legal mandate to boot abusive users off the service.

    Up until this point I can agree with you. When I was working for a start-up, we worded our eula so that we had fairly broad mandate to kick abusive/problem users. We did this while specifically allowing usage of portscaning and other measures.

    Personally I'd love if providers started kicking port scanners off their system as it is irritating, and a complete waste of bandwidth... (clip) Argue all you want about your right to port scan but the reality is that you have no such right to probe other people's computers for vulnerabilities like that. Go out at 2 in the morning and try all the door knobs in your neighbourhood and see what sort of treatment it gets you. "But I was only trying to improve security!"

    Here is where you begin to come off like a M$-sheep in my eyes. Portscanning can be a very useful tool. Portscanning is your right according to the latest court precedent. And lastly, what is it with the stupid door handle analogy, it is a poor one at best.

    You may as well say that every one who looks at camera layout in a bank or store is a would-be criminal. What about a person who checks out building layout, security guards attentiveness, etc before buying into a lease for their business? Are they also would be criminals? When I am consider doing business with an e-commerce site I always scan them. Always. Anyone that I am supposed to trust with my business, credit card numbers, bank account, etc I check out. Always. Going by the above logic I should listen to/read information by a companies' marketing department about how secure they are and blindly trust that they aren't as stupid as M$ is and not install patches, etc to their networked machines to protect my business/money/livelihood. This is the same sort of retarded thinking that I heard from an ISP owner I know. "As long as I keep my (unlicensed) Win 2k servers patched I am entirely secure, because M$ said so." He knows relativly nothing about security and know not much more about Win2k than the minumum required to run his business.

    By the way I have not been burned by trusting a company with poor security, Have you? Are you sure that you won't be? How are you sure?

    I would agree that much of their eula is to be expected, and understandable. Much of the reaction seems to be just standard /. overblown response, however stating in your policy that you disallow game servers (which is a big reason many people want broadband), is pathetic. If they want to disallow these things then they should run Quake Lithium, Quake3, UT, etc servers of their own. Games seem to drive much more of the industry than most of these corporate type seem to understand... Also some of the other prohibitions seem to come from the same sort of corporate disconnect as the game one.
  • by kniedzw ( 65484 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:18AM (#537483)

    From the TOS:

    7.4 The Internet contains unedited materials that may be offensive or objectionable to you. You access these materials at your own risk. Sprint has no control over and accepts no responsibility for these materials. Customer may wish to utilize software designed to limit access to certain material on the Internet.

    The rest of the TOS, while somewhat harsh-sounding, appears to be fairly standard legalese, saying that you aren't allowed to use Sprint to break laws; the only bit that somewhat distressess me is the following. You are not allowed to

    7.1.2 post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, indecent, profane, hateful, bigoted or otherwise objectionable information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions, constituting or encouraging, conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law, including without limitation U.S. export control laws and regulations;

    ...but I suspect that this is merely to give them carte blanche to "kick ban" harrassing folk. Same with their policy of port scans and the like (as they probably don't want to have people contacting their sysadmins saying that there are script kiddies trying to break into their networks).

    They also have provisions limiting bandwidth consumption and servers that you can run from home, but most broadband services limit those these days, especially by forcing lease refreshes every month or so (or sooner).

    Yeah, it seems somewhat fascist, I'll agree. ...but it's broadband. It's not a T1 or even DSL. You get what you pay for, and from what I see, this isn't that bad.


  • It's @Home, or spend 2x as much for DSL, or go back to dialup. Lesser of the evils.
  • by deanc ( 2214 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:19AM (#537490) Homepage
    Not exactly. Since you don't have a "right" to use Sprint's broadband service, anything goes. You still fall under the standard set of consumer protection and credit protection laws, however.

    Similarly, many people with jobs have clauses in their contracts that restrict them from making statements about the company to the press. Since you have no "right" to a job, they can fire you for, technically, "exercising your right to free speech."

    The biggest loophole seems to be that since the government (ie, "the people) regulate the airwaves, they could screw over Sprint for "not acting in the public interest".

    -Dean
  • How on Earth is Time Warner supposed to get into your house if you aren't there? If I enter my home and find it broken into and a Time Warner exec standing in my living room, he will find a gaping hole in his chest :)

    Seriously, apartment contracts are different since they are the technical owners of the apartment, but a computer service has no claim to your premises. Although if they want to enter and you refuse, they could cut your service.

    Finkployd

  • "10.16 You grant to Sprint or any appointed subcontractors an irrevocable license to enter into or onto your Premises during normal business hours, Monday through Saturday, in order to install, repair, replace or remove Equipment. This license will survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land and inure to the parties' successors and assigns."

    So basically they have the right to enter the property for all time, regardless of who buys/sells/leases the property after, even someone who tears down the building and puts something else up. I could just see, 20 years from now, some "sprint" employees walk in and start snooping around your new house, saying they're looking for thier network setup, because someone who lived in the house 20 years ago had sprint... Using this TOS, they're collecting lists of properties that they can enter at will.

    I wonder to whom they could sell THOSE rights to!
  • Whenever there's packet loss on the net, you can be sure a faulty Sprint router is behind it. They've been a poor internet citizen since day 1. Too bad you can't kick a company or backbone off the network...
  • Here's the section that I guess would prohibit viewing porn:

    7.1.2 post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, indecent, profane, hateful, bigoted or otherwise objectionable information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions, constituting or encouraging, conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law, including without limitation U.S. export control laws and regulations;

    If you request a porn page, it's being transmitted by your request. Notice it's wrong if it violates any local law, not necessarily the one for where you live.

  • If you actually read the agreement, it says that the clause is "irrevocable" and survives termination of service. That is exactly what makes it so disturbing.
  • Except that in this case, the "Bad Stuff" isn't sent in the clear, it is encrytped/encoded by nature, and requires a complex set of electronics in order to view/decrypt the data. Sorta like how HBO can say "Fuck" on the Sopranos, but NBC can't say "Fuck" on Friends...(I think that *technically* I'm not supposed to say "Fuck" here, but, well, Fuck it...)

    Besides, in order for some kiddie to accidentally view the Pr0n, he would've had to have violated one (or more) of these portions of the TOS:
    7.1.11 make any unauthorized attempt to gain access to any account or computer resource not belonging to that user

    7.1.15 obtain or attempt to obtain Services by any means or device with intent to avoid payment;

    7.1.16 unauthorized access, alteration, destruction, or any attempt, of any information of any Sprint customers or end-users by any means or device;

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:26AM (#537529) Homepage
    I reserve the right to defend my home by any legal means I see fit from unwanted intruders. This includes but is not limited to firing upon Sprint employees who feel they can somehow design and enforce a TOS that gives them free reign over my property if they appear on said property without my permission.

    Have fun, Sprint. You would be wise to enforce that insane part of your TOS in an area where citizens aren't allowed to defend themselves though (NY, DC, etc)

    :)

    Finkployd
  • From the TOS [you may not]post, publish, transmit, reproduce, distribute or in any way exploit any information, software or other material obtained through Services for commercial purposes What? I mean I'm not an native english speaker so I might get something wrong here but that paragraph just seems ridicilous and quite over the top.
    Still I like the part about not downloaded viruses
    I just can imagine the support calls right now:
    USER:Ummm, my computer behaves kinda strange and Mcafee says I got a virus, and yeah some files are missing
    TechSupport: Bad luck pal, I'm terminating your account right now
  • Once again we see the companies in the U.S. resorting to making lawyers write terms of service / license agreements that are ludicrous because the U.S. liability laws are insane.

    Perhaps if the U.S. passed a law that made people responsible for their own actions we might start seeing some sanity in this country.

    The bigger the company is, the more risk they are at of being sued or held liable for individual's actions. I still think that the TOS is a bit over the top, but I can understand how it gets there.
  • Many people may do that with other services, but with Sprint Broadband, you buy the equipment.
  • Well, it looks like they even have a provision to provide for "spotty enforcement":

    10.4 Sprint's failure to enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement will not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between parties nor trade practice will act to modify any provision of this Agreement.

    Which means that "if we get a complaint, we're gonna come down on you."

    So, the best solution is to start complaining about people hosting Sprint-based servers, regardless of content. "My Dog Spot's Home Page (you are visitor # 000003)" running out of a Sprint network? Complain under section 7.1.21. Someone from a Sprint address sent you an e-mail? Complain under section 7.1.9. Flood the complaint department with bogus complaints, and get Sprint users all pissed off about Sprint's AUPping them. Raise the noise level so high that they have no choice but to raise the bar.

    I suppose just posting this is be a violation of sections 7.1.1 and 7.1.13, or would be if I were a Sprint customer.

    John

  • Open up news.admin.net-abuse.email. Us sysadmins and anti-spam folk have been bugging SprintPink for the past year now about it's spam problem, and they haven't done *ANYTHING*. Meanwhile the spam sites move to there and the spammers spew from their dialups.

    Come on, Sprint. Kick 'em off and enforce your normal TOS!



    --
    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
    $Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";

  • I ain't no lawyer, but I suspect your friend has been sniffing too much gunpowder. This is a private contract, not a government regulation. In exchange for subscribing to their service, you agree to their terms of service. After all, you could view Non-Disclosure Agreements as a restriction of one's First Amendment rights - that doesn't make them illegal.
  • post or transmit any information or software that contains a virus, trojan horse, worm or other harmful component;

    The interprtation of this in the origonal piece is misleading. The above is taken from the agreement and nowhere does it say 'download'. It says 'post or transmit' which is not the same as download. However, there is a difference between knowingly and unknowingly transmitting a virus.
  • Actually, however barbaric it may be, only in Maryland does you life have to be in danger in order to fire on someone in your own home. Now of course, this person must be an intruder, but the point is you don't have wait until an intruder attacks you or retreat from danger in your own home in 49 of the United States.

    Finkployd

  • With all these servers that you were running, were you purchasing their residential or business service?
  • by Ergo2000 ( 203269 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:44AM (#537561) Homepage

    While I think they've gone a bit too far (though it seems to be primarily written to legally cover their own ass for instances where countries like France try to shoot the messenger) most of it seems pretty reasonable and it seems like they're giving themselves a clear legal mandate to boot abusive users off the service. Personally I'd love if providers started kicking port scanners off their system as it is irritating, and a complete waste of bandwidth, for thousands of little script kiddies to sit there doing nmap -p 1-55000 24.0.0.0/32 all day. Argue all you want about your right to port scan but the reality is that you have no such right to probe other people's computers for vulnerabilities like that. Go out at 2 in the morning and try all the door knobs in your neighbourhood and see what sort of treatment it gets you. "But I was only trying to improve security!".

    As far as the limitations on hosting it sounds very similar to most @Home TOS agreements which basically say you can't run servers for anything. Of course they're not really trying to prohibit that (and indeed they can easily block incoming port 80, etc., but they don't), they're just giving themself legal recourse. The prices that people are paying is based upon average, amateur fair use and when someone sets up a 24/7 Napster server alongside their FTP server, website, IRC server, etc., they begin unfairly consuming an inordinate and completely financially unjustified amount of bandwidth. Compare the price of an unmetered T1 which technically has less bandwidth than my cable modem. Is someone stupid to pay that much more? Not at all. One is meant to be saturated with services, the other is financially created as a burst service for the Average Joe.

  • Nope, sorry--I don't buy it.

    They could explicitly state in their TOS that the end user is solely responsible for their behaviour, and that they refused to take any responsibility. That's the way most companies work, and it generally keeps them safe. Furthermore, a ruling a month or so ago in the US declared port scans to be legal, so why are they banning them?

    Finally, "posting vulgar information" is banned. I don't think there's any legal definition of vulgar, so who the hell decides? Oops, I think I just crossed the line by saying "hell."

    This policy stinks of dead fish. There are NO excuses for it!

  • Well, they'd have to do massive surveillance if they wanted to catch you viewing pr0n, but most of the other things are pretty easy to detect at the firewall level. Even if you have firewalled your own machine, you have to leave ports open if you want to run web/ftp/game servers of any kind.

    Essentially what they're saying here is that they don't want to be in the business of actually selling bandwidth. That's why you get 300+kbytes/sec down and only about 15kbytes/sec upload. They don't want you to have any more 'pipe' than they can get away with, even though it doesn't really cost them (the big guys who actually own the infrastructure) any more. This is because if you actually could buy cheap bandwidth like this, it would mean that all their overpriced 'hosting' and 'broadband' solutions would look like what they really are: Big Stinking Piles of Customer Service.
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:35AM (#537568) Homepage Journal
    I wouldn't worry that much about - basically these TOS's serve as the provider's backup should they need it to kick a troublesome user off the network. Remember the stink over @Home's TOS, that restricted telecommuting? Our tech manager at work called to give them hell, since us programmers are going to do our on-call support via VPN. Their response is that they don't snoop around for every violation of the TOS, but have it in place in case they need it.

    These companies have better things to do, anyway - like come up with hours and hours of Muzak to numb your brain while waiting on hold...

  • While there are so many things that can be excused, such as access to the house for installation purposes.... well, if they do not explicitly cite this as the purpose of the permission to access, then it becomes very open ended and subject to the potential abuse forseen by some.

    Given the lack of trustworthyness of some companies and individuals, this is not unreasonable.

    As an old friend of mine once said, when you see a psycho two things can be going on. Either the psycho really is psycho, or their enviroment is psycho, and they as just trying to cope.

    This certainly applies to work environments, as we all know. And it goes deeper.

    Over the past few years many companies have down sized, eliminating many levels of managers. These have since gone off and retired, or gone into other fields of activity, like programming, dot coms, etc. They will not go back. The very extreme example of this are overseas contractors who come to the US, ignorant of US Law, culture, and mores. They are sometimes hired by pointy haired bosses to do the things that no decent manager would do, as far as treatment of employees, customer service, etc goes.

    We now come full circle, imagining this kind of manager combined with this kind of TOS agreement. It is very easy to run screaming into the hills. After all, this is for "our benefit". It is even conceivable that someone like this wrote this TOS Agreement.

    Is this likely? I'm am not sure. I so much want to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    But Murphy's Law certainly applies here.

  • by -ryan ( 115102 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:49AM (#537572)
    ...and I love it! I think most of the stuff in the terms of services agreement is really to cover their ass. Luckily I didn't have to get the installation agreement signed and so they don't have any right to come into my apartment. And in case you didn't know, you BUY the equipment from them. I own the transceiver [calamp.com], amplifier, and modem.

    So far they haven't complained about the stuff I'm running, and I doubt the will. It takes quite a bit of effort to police this stuff.

    I was a beta tester for a similar service in Austin, TX from a company called Nobell [nobell.com]. Their prices have gone up since they are no longer beta testing but I still would highly recommend them.

    Anyway, the Sprint BBD is fast and reliable. The signal is only a couple of watts I would guess judging on the distance to the tower I'm pointing to (I have LOS to a hill in San Bruno). If anyone has questions about the service or you are contemplating getting it, email [mailto] me and I'll explain wireless broadband to ya.

  • I had an apartment contract that said I could be evicted if I had guests after 2AM.

    I then realized two things:

    1) Most parts of a TOS (or lease) are an easy-escape-clause for the vendor.
    2) READ ALL AGREEMENTS YOU SIGN
  • Funny thing, my old ISP, DelaNET (see www.delanet.com) -- I thought I remembered seeing something in their TOS/AUP about running servers, but I read through it several times and couldn't find anything. The only thing I found was something like "we're not liable if you do something illegal" -- which makes perfect sense, and is, of course, really the only thing that should be in any TOS/AUP for a consumer ISP.
  • That's the gist of it - they're not going to snoop 24/7 (too expensive), but if a particular neighborhood keeps raising complaints about speed, for example, they could look around and see that somebody's hogging the network and/or creating other problems. Without the TOS, they'd have no recourse to boot the troublemaker off the service and keep everybody else happy.

    The question, of course, becomes "what constitutes a troublemaker."

  • You might want to read it again, it says that they will need to get into your house to install the equipment. Now if they are installing something in your house I am going to assume that it is because *YOU* asked them to by ordering it.

    If it breaks and you don't let them it to fix it I imagine it will stay broken.

    The cure of the ills of Democracy is more Democracy.

  • by ColdGrits ( 204506 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @05:40AM (#537586)
    There are a large number of blatant inaccuracies in the summary postedon slashdot - makes me wonder if anyone even bothered reading the TOS before whinging?

    (1) There is NOTHING in the TOS to stop you using anon email - you may not impersonate OTHERS, but it does not stop you using anoon email.

    (2) "Sprint can access your house at any time"?? No, Sprint,like almost every other provider of services (inc phone, gas, electricity, etc) have the right to access your premisis DURINGNORMAL WORKING HOURS in order to install, remove, upgrade or repair the equipoment - certainly not, as some paranoid posters would have you believe, to spy on you! What they aresaying is that you have to let them in, you can't tell them to piss off if they come to remove the equipment, nor can you tell them to go away if they come to install, for example. Nope, nothing there about them having the right to breakin, though. More paranoia from those not reading the post.

    (3) Their list of stuff you can't send, if you READ IT PROPERLY, explains that wehat they are saying is that you can't do anything illegal. They even SAY THAT. How hard is that to understand, hmm? Doesn't sound too unreasonable to me - if they DIDN'T say you can't do that, then they have no legal means to kick you off if you break the law.

    I REALLY wish people woudl read posts before flaming away - a good 50% of the posts so far are rendered irrelevant if you read the original TOS!!!

    --
  • by Vesuvius_DC ( 202218 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:53AM (#537598)
    Remember, all contracts are negotiable. A lot of people don't realize this. I almost never sign boilerplate TOS or leases, or anything else without making changes. Each TOS they sign is an individual contract. If you don't like something, scratch it out and initial it, and maybe even date it. Scratch out the whole freakin' contract if you want.

    When it comes time for them to accept it, either they will just as a matter of procedure, or they will call you and ask what the changes are. You can then negotiate with an agent of the company (like a manager) about the changes. But if they just accept it and file it away without looking at it, then set up and install your service, you are golden. If something happens months later you can go back to the modified contract that you both have a copy of as proof that you didn't agree to certain things.

    I have done this dozens of times, from housing contracts with my college, to DSL service, to gas service, to apartment leases, to even ski lift ticket agreements and parachute jump liability waivers.

    Don't be fooled. Absolutely everything is negotiable. This is one of those really sweet things about our legal system that everyone should learn. INAL, but check with one and they will tell you this. :)
  • 2.8 You acknowledge and agree that you are purchasing the Equipment and in the event you terminate the Services, Sprint will have no obligation to remove the Equipment from the Premises. However, if you terminate your Services prior to the end of the Term, and if you fail to pay the Termination Fee as provided in Section 3 below, Sprint will have the right, but not the obligation, to remove and resell or reuse the Equipment.

    You buy the equipment but if you fail to pay the termination fee (of $299) you down't own the equipment. In other words, you don't actually own the equipment, you are borrowing it. This claus allows them, however, to refute any repair or service to the device (typically if you lease or loan the equipment, repairs and replacements are gratis).

    Another:

    5. SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS.

    5.1 Although Sprint will make commercially reasonable efforts to maintain the Services, you may experience service interruptions. Sprint assumes no responsibility or liability for interruption of the Services, whether due to (without limiting the generality of the foregoing):

    5.1.1. failure or of any part of the Services for any reason, whether related to hardware, software, wiring or any other equipment;

    5.1.2. interruptions due to periodic testing or system alterations, including modifications to Equipment;

    5.1.3. power failures, riots, civil unrest, acts of war, or acts of God, including hurricanes, floods, ice, wind, lightning, and accidents; or

    5.1.4. regulations, orders, decisions or acts of any lawfully constituted authority or court.

    In other words: don't expect any kind of refunds for any kind of downtime.

    Everything else seems pretty standard: you, the client, can't do anything except browse their homepage and they aren't required to enforce anything. Really, its all the same as everyone elses... until...

    .4 THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND

    Hrmm.. I've never seen "as available" basis before. I think they've learned from the cable companies...

    10.7 With email notification, Sprint reserves the right to charge for customer calls into technical support or for on-site technical support.

    Nice one.. charge 'em for tech-support.. lower the monthly bill then please.

    10.16 You grant to Sprint or any appointed subcontractors an irrevocable license to enter into or onto your Premises during normal business hours, Monday through Saturday, in order to install, repair, replace or remove Equipment. This license will survive termination or cancellation of this Agreement and will run with the land and inure to the parties' successors and assigns.

    What the FUCK is that? I have never seen anything like this before. And it will survive termination or cancellation of the agreement AND, even if you move, they can still enter the premesis. I would really like to see this one get tested. That can't be right, not at all. They _should_ have reasonable access during scheduled appointments but I don't want some sprint dork on my porch demanding entry. That is unfair and plain wrong.

    Oh well, maybe it's just me... But at least I know I'm not signing up for sprint...

  • by victim ( 30647 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:00AM (#537600)
    Lets have contest to see who can simulaneously violate all 21 elements of section 7.1?

    I'm thinking along the lines of a virus that scans the affected system's disks, replaces the word `copyright' with `screwyou!' and forwards the files to other instances of itself on other afflicted machines. It then emails the machine owner with a forged From address and offers to remove itself if they make a payment in a particular Paypal account.

    That covers all but two of the 21. :-)
  • Fine. Then dissallow portscanning on your computer. BUT - should my provider ban me? or is it your own perrogative to dissallow me locally?

    I was about to go on a big analogy of spam but I decided not to as analogies usually just lead to a big straw-man argument. However my point is not necessarily that they auto-ban you as a small percentage of port scans are legit (i.e. checking your mothers PC to see if she has a trojan). My point is that if someone complains or if a peer ISP complains (i.e. @Home could queue up 1000s of numbers of people who scan all of 24) your ISP should kick you.

    BTW: You say "what if I portscan a public computer": "Public" computers advertise a particular service and outside of those services it is none of your business what is running on that machine is, what the operating system is, or whether they've patched their server. If you are accessing www.cnn.com then they are advertising a web service on port 80 and beyond that is absolutely not your right to probe.

    BTW: Should everyone run firewalls? ABSOLUTELY! Should everyone ensure that there are no holes in their system? ABSOLUTELY! However what if a hole was found in a common service like portmapper on Linux (which happened recently) and Jimbo has been doing his probes and has a nice database of every system that runs portmapper on Linux revision XYZ so he carpet bombs the database with the exploit. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU advocating the righteousness of portscanning should realize that portscanning isn't merely a problem for people with BackOrifice or Netbus on their machines. I get scanned for port 111 all the time because there are still lots of people without the appropriate patches so the script kiddies carpet bomb all of 24.0.0.0/8.

    I think an interesting conversation happened in another thread when someone complained that www.walmart.com apparently misidentifies its server attributes, etc., with calls for legal recourse, etc. How absolutely absurd. Personally I think no public service should advertise anything about its configuration, version number, platform, etc. : It's none of anyone's friggin' business! In any case no matter how much people want to talk about security through obfuscation versus open information the simple reality is that when you're talking about thousands of machines : Security through obfuscation works. If you give someone a list of 276 machines he knows are running Apache x.x with mods y.z it makes easy work when someone knows that Apache x.x with mods y.z is vulnerable giving him root access to erase his tracks, etc. Instead give them a list of millions of servers and let them try their exploit : There'll be a shitload of evidence to sue their asses off, and of course what could have been a targetted, efficient hack operation turns into a grossly inefficient sloggery.

  • You can not portscan, probe

    Uh...that's a good thing most sites will come down on you pretty hard if you are portscanning them...which you have no business doing anyway.

    run game or Webservers of any kind

    Well you can probably get away with running apache or something but I doubt they want you running a dot.com from their service ;-)

    upload or download viruses, use anonymous e-mail

    Well on the first point you shouldn't do that dum dum. If you really want to be uploading virii to plague mankind get an aol account.

    view porno, post anything vulgar or hateful, you cant even encourage anything illegal.

    If the first point is true then that's bad though I doubt that's true or possible to really monitor without looking at every .jpg .gif etc that comes through their service...it would waste everyone's time and resources to do this since there is no way to tell if a file is pr0n or not through automated means...basically you would have to visually inspect each file which would be rather stupid anyway. I figure this is here to be able to kick the kiddie pr0n freaks off if they're discovered.

    The hate stuff well again they could search for things like "the n word" and what not but again I doubt they'll do this...and encouraging illegal activity is against the law anyway as far as I'm aware...encouraging someone to go kill someone usually gets you in trouble...I could be wrong about this though...can someone help me out here?

    Lastly, they restrict you from sending out spam,

    Well good if you want to send out spam buddy then you don't deserve to be in the human community let alone the internet one...

    They also reserve the right to enter your home or property, monitor your activities, and "share" your personal info with other companies.

    Well, your phone company has the right to enter your home, so does your electric company, etc. The difference here is if you don't want the sprint people in your house then you cancel your service...somehow I doubt they're gonna want to come over for tea four nights a week. As far as sharing goes yeah that stinks but that's life if you don't like it complain to them and don't use it...just because a service is available doesn't mean you have to use it :-)

    Jon
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2001 @06:02AM (#537609) Homepage Journal
    I suspect that this is merely to give them carte blanche to "kick ban" harrassing folk.

    This gives me the power to harass any Sprint customer I don't like and have his/her account instantly removed any time I wish to fire off a letter to sprint's abuse account. Cool.

    Too bad AOL's TOS isn't as braindead.

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