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Can an ISP suspend service to you if they receive a DMCA notice?

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jnelsoninjax    14,680

My wife called me yesterday morning and told me that the internet was not working, she suspected the router was dead, but upon checking noticed that the modem lights were not all lit. A few hours later she calls me back and says that the ISP sent an email about a TV show that was supposedly downloaded by her I.P. address, and that they 'suspended' her service until she called and talked to them. She indicated that the TV show in question was one she had never heard of, and told the ISP as much. The ISP removed the hold and her service started working again. My question: is this legal for an ISP to do? I have heard of email/snail mail messages being sent out, but have never heard of an ISP suspending service, especially on the first notice! Second question, besides the obvious checks (virus/malware) what else should be done to ensure something like this does not happen again?

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farmeunit    699

Yes, it's common and allowed.  ISPs have to stop you from downloading illegal files after a certain amount.  Usually it's a multiple strike rule.  Like 3 strikes and they shut it off.  Usually not one.

 

It's possible and likely that it's not even on computer you own, but someone connected to your network.

 

Make sure you have a secure password.  Definitely look at changing it.  If you have a guest network, secure it, also.  If they're downloading something, they're likely using BitTorrent.  Maybe you could block that at your router.

 

See when it was downloaded and if you had company over.

 

 

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Nick H.    10,688

As far as I'm aware yes, they are allowed to do this. It will probably be that the ISP received the DMCA notice before you, so their first reaction will be to make sure that the copyrighted material can go no further by suspending your service. Even if that isn't the case, an ISP is a private company and are within their rights to suspend your service at any time that they choose. Obviously if they did it to people just because they felt like it they would receive bad press and customers would go elsewhere, but they are allowed to do it.

 

For your second question, I would start by changing your router's WiFi password and the admin password if you haven't already done so. It could be that someone did a drive-by and got onto your network, or maybe even one of your neighbours got hold of the code. I would also look for a list of popular torrent sites and add them to your router's blacklist. That way if someone does connect to your network and tries to access those sites they won't be able to.

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dipsylalapo    1,957

An interesting topic. 

 

I'm with Virgin Media in the UK. A few years ago they started sending DMCA notices. I was on the receiving end of a few and each letter/email did come with a threat of disconnection after the next offence but this never happened. Even after three strikes, no action was taken. 

 

Because an IP is linked to the property household and not a specific person, they usually warn the bill payer with words along the lines, keep an eye on your connection, someone is using your network for illegal purposes.

 

To me, it didn't seem like the notice was actually enforceable, so much so that VM have actually stopped sending them out.

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jnelsoninjax    14,680
42 minutes ago, farmeunit said:

Yes, it's common and allowed.  ISPs have to stop you from downloading illegal files after a certain amount.  Usually it's a multiple strike rule.  Like 3 strikes and they shut it off.  Usually not one.

 

It's possible and likely that it's not even on computer you own, but someone connected to your network.

 

Make sure you have a secure password.  Definitely look at changing it.  If you have a guest network, secure it, also.  If they're downloading something, they're likely using BitTorrent.  Maybe you could block that at your router.

 

See when it was downloaded and if you had company over.

Will do for sure! I ordered her a new router due to the current one being close to death, and I will make sure that the password(s) are secure.

42 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

As far as I'm aware yes, they are allowed to do this. It will probably be that the ISP received the DMCA notice before you, so their first reaction will be to make sure that the copyrighted material can go no further by suspending your service. Even if that isn't the case, an ISP is a private company and are within their rights to suspend your service at any time that they choose. Obviously if they did it to people just because they felt like it they would receive bad press and customers would go elsewhere, but they are allowed to do it.

 

For your second question, I would start by changing your router's WiFi password and the admin password if you haven't already done so. It could be that someone did a drive-by and got onto your network, or maybe even one of your neighbours got hold of the code. I would also look for a list of popular torrent sites and add them to your router's blacklist. That way if someone does connect to your network and tries to access those sites they won't be able to.

I will look into this for certain! She was rather put out that they had suspended her over something she was not even aware was happening, which I now realize is the ISP's way of CYA (suspend first, ask questions later), I will advise her on the steps to take next.

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goretsky    1,203

Hello,


An ISP can do whatever they want with your connection—traffic-shape certain types of communications, limit its bandwidth, inspect and modify network traffic, perform network- and port-address translation, etc.  Chances are that anything an ISP does with your network connection is covered under their terms of service or the contract signed with them.

 

From the description, it sounds like someone had access to the network, possibly via an open wireless connection, and used it to illegally download a TV show.  You might want to start looking into securing the router/access point.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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Circaflex    3,640

This is extremely common, some ISPs have even moved to an automated system now. What happens is your internet is re-routed to their web portal, you are given the information on which files were downloaded and click a box that says you have removed the files and wont use the service for illegal activities again. Worry not though, have had many friends work for different ISPs, nothing ever comes of these and the ISP is required to send a notice by law. That is it. Dont worry about it, this isnt a big deal, however if indeed she did not download or stream that show illegally, I would change the WiFi password.

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Code Name: Lockdown    9,531
On 7/10/2020 at 2:56 PM, dipsylalapo said:

I'm with Virgin Media in the UK. A few years ago they started sending DMCA notices. I was on the receiving end of a few and each letter/email did come with a threat of disconnection after the next offence but this never happened. Even after three strikes, no action was taken. 

I had one from virgin, and they even noted the show.  It wasn't about the downloading, but more the fact I had supposedly been sharing it (assume after a full download I became a seeder?).  Weird thing is, it was a show I'd never heard of, the title was Indian (forgive me, I don't know what specific language).  I knew it meant nothing after having asked a friend, but contacted them anyway, and they seemed totally nonplussed that anyone would ever dream of following up on such a letter.

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freshform    14

when I worked for a small business ISP I was in charge of sending out the notices  and suspending connection was common practice in extreme circumstances. The onus is on the provider to take action. I would give them a 3 strike rule. 

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jnelsoninjax    14,680
18 minutes ago, Circaflex said:

This is extremely common, some ISPs have even moved to an automated system now. What happens is your internet is re-routed to their web portal, you are given the information on which files were downloaded and click a box that says you have removed the files and wont use the service for illegal activities again. Worry not though, have had many friends work for different ISPs, nothing ever comes of these and the ISP is required to send a notice by law. That is it. Dont worry about it, this isnt a big deal, however if indeed she did not download or stream that show illegally, I would change the WiFi password.

I was not worried about the legal ramifications, it was more that they suspended her service over it. I bought her a new router and the WiFi password is different then before, so hopefully that helps!

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+warwagon    13,959
22 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

I was not worried about the legal ramifications, it was more that they suspended her service over it. I bought her a new router and the WiFi password is different then before, so hopefully that helps!

 
 
 
 
 

I'll help you make a good wifi password.

 

fL7H\6l4+8(<9u4&s>f9;w(_HFZr8!

I also used www.grc.com/passwords for my wifi password too.

 

 

 

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Louisifer    811
28 minutes ago, Code Name: Lockdown said:

I had one from virgin, and they even noted the show.  It wasn't about the downloading, but more the fact I had supposedly been sharing it (assume after a full download I became a seeder?).  Weird thing is, it was a show I'd never heard of, the title was Indian (forgive me, I don't know what specific language).  I knew it meant nothing after having asked a friend, but contacted them anyway, and they seemed totally nonplussed that anyone would ever dream of following up on such a letter.

I believe in the UK that downloading isn't illegal, sharing that material is illegal though as you re now the distributer.  Torrents by nature are redistribution software so they can go after you for using it. If the government ever made it illegal to download then they would have to arrest so many of their own family members as its the norm for most people. :D 

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+warwagon    13,959
Just now, Louisifer said:

I believe in the UK that downloading isn't illegal, sharing that material is illegal though as you re now the distributer.  Torrents by nature are redistribution software so they can go after you for using it. If the government ever made it illegal to download then they would have to arrest so many of their own family members as its the norm for most people. :D 

Yep, which is why I haven't touched torrents since 2008 with a 10-foot pole.

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Code Name: Lockdown    9,531
5 minutes ago, Louisifer said:

I believe in the UK that downloading isn't illegal, sharing that material is illegal though as you re now the distributer.  Torrents by nature are redistribution software so they can go after you for using it. If the government ever made it illegal to download then they would have to arrest so many of their own family members as its the norm for most people. :D 

I think you are correct but... My point was: I had neither been downloading, uploading, seeding or sharing said file.  I don't even speak whatever language it was in.

 

I've not torrented in years, I basically pay for the content I consume.

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jnelsoninjax    14,680
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, warwagon said:

I'll help you make a good wifi password.

 


fL7H\6l4+8(<9u4&s>f9;w(_HFZr8!

I also used www.grc.com/passwords for my wifi password too.

That's good and all, but you would have to have a Yubikey and/or a NFC tag that you created with the WiFI password on it.

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+BudMan    3,737
3 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

I bought her a new router and the WiFi password is different then before

So your not changing the default password?  Yeah that is horrible idea!!  You change the ssid other than default, and you need to use a secure password.  20 some characters should be good..

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jnelsoninjax    14,680
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, BudMan said:

So your not changing the default password?  Yeah that is horrible idea!!  You change the ssid other than default, and you need to use a secure password.  20 some characters should be good..

No, the password is different then the default one. If I were to use GRC's password generator for 20 characters, without having an yubikey or other item like it, how would I go about inputting the password to a cell phone/smart TV/etc?

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+warwagon    13,959
8 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

No, the password is different then the default one. If I were to use GRC's password generator for 20 characters, without having an yubikey or other item like it, how would I go about inputting the password to a cell phone/smart TV/etc?

 

He didn't say the password has to be gibberish. Just long.

 

I personally prefer gibberish, but it could also be "Ijustgotawarningfrommyispf**ck!

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jnelsoninjax    14,680
Just now, warwagon said:

He didn't say the password has to be gibberish. Just long.

 

OK, I understand now, thanks for clearing that up.

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+BudMan    3,737

Your other option for entering long passwords into phones, tablets really anything with a camera - is QR codes.. I print out cards for my guest ssid.

 

You just scan the qr code and your phone connects... Both android and ios supports this on even somewhat current OSes..

 

There are plenty of places to create them, and some applications even.. Example here is one https://qifi.org/

 

There really is no reason not to have a long psk, even gibberish type ones.. Shoot even if you have to type it in by hand.. Normally this is one time thing, and may more modern devices will pull this code from your setup device.  For example my son's new TV had you pair with it, and it pulled your psk from your phone.. So he didn't have to enter in his 30 character psk ;)

 

The alarm guy gave me an odd look when he had to type in the very long psk into the alarm system setup ;) hehehe

 

But yes as mentioned it doesn't have to be complete gibberish, take a phrase and make that your psk.  But the phrase should be something unique to you, not some common saying or quote.

 

Another option is most phones these days allow you to share a psk, with phone that is next to yours.  Not sure with android but I know iphones and ipads allow you to do this.

 

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