Ignore Piracy Notices and Lose Control of your Thermostat

DooKey

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Armstrong Zoom Internet is doing like most ISPs and sending out piracy notices to suspected pirates on their network. These notices usually warn the customer to stop the offending activity or face some sort of sanction. Most of the time this is downgraded service or termination of service. However, Armstrong is adding something interesting to their warning letter and telling customers that they may lose access to remotely controlled devices in their home like security monitoring and remote control of thermostats. Once this happens the only way a customer gets full access again is to sign an agreement to stop the activity and paying a fee. Interesting tactic they are using. I wonder if they would be liable for damage if someone had their pipes freeze up and burst because of this? Click the pic to see the letter.

“Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.”
 

Master_shake_

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Use a dynamic dns service. Next.

Edit did not read article.

Derped on that one
 
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CaptNumbNutz

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I believe they are specifically referring to IoT devices like the NEST thermostats. AFAIK, there isn't a single air conditioning or heating system made that requires an internet connection. The remote thermostats are always a tacked on addition being a device that can simply trigger a relay to turn on the furnace or A/C.

So they can cut off your internet, but a $10 thermostat from your local Wal-Mart, a screwdriver, and 10 minutes of time will get it going again.
 

sfsuphysics

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so yeah, no internet, I can't remotely turn on my heater.. weeeeeee

I think the big problem is if people start thinking this means they will block your access to your shit, hell that was my first thought when I just skimmed the headline.
 

GlowingGhoul

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The mention of a fee just proves this is an extortion tactic, plain and simple.

LOL, what a stupid article. Yeah, if your internet access is cut off you'll lose access to devices controlled via the internet.

Wow, what a surprise. Guess what, you'll also lose access to HardOCP too.
 

MavericK

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LOL, what a stupid article. Yeah, if your internet access is cut off you'll lose access to devices controlled via the internet.

Wow, what a surprise. Guess what, you'll also lose access to HardOCP too.

True, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of abuse and extortion. If you read that letter further, it says you may just get bumped down to the lowest service speed level. Any bets on if your bill gets bumped down as well?

I get the repeated abuse = disconnect thing. But then saying you can call them up, sign a paper and, oh yeah, pay them a "fee" to flip the switch back on just makes it sound like a bunch of bullshit. If they wanted to prevent this behavior they would cut you off for good.
 

M76

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No you dolt. This is what happens when you don't pay for services you request. This has nothing to do with net neutrality.
Lack of imagination on your part. You'll see. We have internet providers that charge you extra if you want remote access. (eg exposed ip address) We never had net neutrality to begin with here in central europe. There are also providers who charge you extra if you want to access and / or unlimited access to youtube, facebook, etc. Or throttle specific services, like streaming, or whatever they feel like they want you to pay extra for.

You don't even know what a great thing you had going with net neutrality and you gave it up willingly, some even cheered for it, Fucking hell.
 

Dead Parrot

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So an ISP is admitting that they monitor customer's electronic communications and are now threatening to interfere with said communications if the customers don't modify their usage based on a third party complaint? Sounds like multiple violations of wiretapping laws and computer crimes statutes. Or possibly blackmail. So many choices.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Lack of imagination on your part. You'll see. We have internet providers that charge you extra if you want remote access. (eg exposed ip address) We never had net neutrality to begin with here in central europe. There are also providers who charge you extra if you want to access and / or unlimited access to youtube, facebook, etc. Or throttle specific services, like streaming, or whatever they feel like they want you to pay extra for.

You don't even know what a great thing you had going with net neutrality and you gave it up willingly, some even cheered for it, Fucking hell.

The internet developed quite a bit with existing anti-monopoly regulations as it was. I don't recognize this terrible, awful, primitive and unfree internet we supposedly had prior to 2016.

What Net Neutrality DID do however, was establish a precedent of regulating the internet via an unelected body. A precedent that would have laid the groundwork for government defining politically inconvenient sites as subject to regulation, like political advertisements on television.

The Democrats had full control of Congress and the presidency for years and did not propose a Net Neutrality law during that time. Why? Because that would not have handed to FCC the undemocratic power they wanted them to have.

Even though you're likely young, living in Central Europe I would have thought enough around you would have been well aware of what it was like having a "progressive" communist regime controlling the flow of information.
 

GlowingGhoul

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The reason for the disclaimer is simple. When your electric supplier sends out a warning of impending disconnection, they include warning abouts heating, security, and medical systems ceasing to function. It's about avoiding lawsuits from people who say they didn't know they wouldn't be able to monitor their security or heating systems when their internet access was cut off. Reading waaaay to much into this.
 

lcpiper

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I believe they are specifically referring to IoT devices like the NEST thermostats. AFAIK, there isn't a single air conditioning or heating system made that requires an internet connection. The remote thermostats are always a tacked on addition being a device that can simply trigger a relay to turn on the furnace or A/C.

So they can cut off your internet, but a $10 thermostat from your local Wal-Mart, a screwdriver, and 10 minutes of time will get it going again.


Regardless, wouldn't just waiting till you get home solve the issue. I mean once your on your own internal network ....

EDITED: Actually, thinking about my comment, yea no. I mean yes, you could just wait until you get home, but WTF right?

If someone needs to be cut off, then cut them all the way off, don't try and hold their shit for ransom while you still want your customer's money.

I think it's called extortion.

If someone is doing something that they shouldn't be doing, then address that issue directly and don't fuck around doing stupid shit.
 
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THRESHIN

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Maybe this isn't the same for the nest (I have the ecobee) but you could simply disconnect the thermostat from your Wi-Fi and still use it as normal....I personally don't use the remote access very often. Maybe I'm getting too old to see the problem.
 

chameleoneel

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Doesn't sound legal to me.

Write it into new contracts/new service deals. But existing customers should be fine. Although in this day, a class action lawsuit would have to be filed, to make the company back off existing customers.
 

lcpiper

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A local ISP, I think all you need to do is convince them that what is best is for them to stick to what they are required to do under the law and refrain from becoming inventive and punitive.

Bad for business.

And you don't need a class action to go after a small ISP. Just file your complaint with the FTC, they crush little guys all the time. Who's going to try and go up against the Federal Government over that bullshit anyway?
 

Spidey329

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Lack of imagination on your part. You'll see. We have internet providers that charge you extra if you want remote access. (eg exposed ip address) We never had net neutrality to begin with here in central europe. There are also providers who charge you extra if you want to access and / or unlimited access to youtube, facebook, etc. Or throttle specific services, like streaming, or whatever they feel like they want you to pay extra for.

You don't even know what a great thing you had going with net neutrality and you gave it up willingly, some even cheered for it, Fucking hell.

Gave it up willingly? Something like 90% opposed the rollback. Millions took action. Our government told us to fuck off in form letters, via Twitter, and non-funny YouTube videos.

We didn't give it up, it was stolen, in broad daylight without a care in the world.

Short of an armed insurrection, what else were we supposed to do?
 

ChoGGi

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Ignore piracy notices and get cut off from the net...This is news? Sounds more like CYA from the ISP.

Edit:
FTFA: Armstrong will remove you from your current service level and place you at the lowest service level.
So your shitty IoT devices will still work then?
 

BloodyIron

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This bullshit hasn't worked for over 20 years, what the fuck makes them think it'll work now?
 

M76

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Gave it up willingly? Something like 90% opposed the rollback. Millions took action. Our government told us to fuck off in form letters, via Twitter, and non-funny YouTube videos.

We didn't give it up, it was stolen, in broad daylight without a care in the world.

Short of an armed insurrection, what else were we supposed to do?
I doubt 90% even knew what it was about, let alone oppose it. I don't know on this forum it kind of seemed 50-50 between those who were for and against it.
 

katanaD

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Maybe this isn't the same for the nest (I have the ecobee) but you could simply disconnect the thermostat from your Wi-Fi and still use it as normal....I personally don't use the remote access very often. Maybe I'm getting too old to see the problem.

i have had a nest since they came out. works just the same. i can get up and walk over to it, and turn it on/off etc right there at the wall.

also, even if i was away for some time and lost remote control, the unit is set to automatically heat when the house gets down to 50, or cool if it gets to 100 without ANY interaction for safety reasons
 

lcpiper

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Gave it up willingly? Something like 90% opposed the rollback. Millions took action. Our government told us to fuck off in form letters, via Twitter, and non-funny YouTube videos.

We didn't give it up, it was stolen, in broad daylight without a care in the world.

Short of an armed insurrection, what else were we supposed to do?

Wait, 90% in polls, 90% in reality don't even give a damn.

Millions took what action? Did they call/email their congressman or try to use that comment site? The only thing I saw was something like 1.x million comments, out of 325 million in the US, that's not a groundswell of dissent.

People like to think that there was a cry from far and wide, that the population rose up and was told to shut up, and that isn't true at all my friend, not at all.

And I didn't like Pai's video either but it is what it is.
 

lcpiper

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This is what happens without net neutrality...

No, this is what happens because of the DMCA.

Although, because the Internet is no longer Title II, ISPs are no longer protected from the FTC as common carriers, so if your ISP fucks you and it's not in writing, then you can file a complaint with the FTC and if it's righteous, the FTC might sue the fuckers and you might even get more money than any class-action would get you.
 

BSmith

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Or the FTC can just ignore you. Filing a complaint does not guarantee anything.
 
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