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French ISP Orange Fined For Offensive Temporary Password

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-said-what dept.

Idle 18

courteaudotbiz writes "French ISP Orange has been fined 13000 Euros after being sued by a man named Mohamed Zaidi, who has been assigned the temporary password 'salearabe' (dirtyarab) by e-mail after he placed a support call. At the hearing, the prosecutor called the password 'offensive, insulting and even defamatory.'"

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bad translation, unsurprising judgment (3, Informative)

Keith_Beef (166050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146745)

Bad Google translation... The decision, as reported in the Canadian press, was that Orange was fined 500 euros (7700 $CAN) and ordered to pay 8 000 euros (12 400$ CAN) in damages to the plaintiff. This term "sale arabe" is more or less equivalent to "nigger". It's used as an insult to people of North African (i.e. predominantly Algerian, Morrocan, Tunisian) origin, and is considered extremey offensive. K.

Re:bad translation, unsurprising judgment (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147365)

Thanks, that answers a few questions.

Re:bad translation, unsurprising judgment (2, Informative)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28161119)

I don't care what his psychological problems are, if that was randomly generated he should just shut up.
Stupid courts.

If on the other hand someone specifically wrote that because they know some uptight people would get offended, well that person should probably be fired then.

Re:bad translation, unsurprising judgment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28163033)

The point, moron, is that it was NOT random. He pissed off someone in support.

Re:bad translation, unsurprising judgment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28169335)

Why is this a legal issue? The guy who did it should be fired and the company should be left to manage it's broken relationship with that customer. Why is insulting your customer an actionable mistake now, now matter how offensive or hateful is this really something the state should be involved in?

Defamatory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147473)

Wouldn't the ISP have to share his password with other people for it to be defamatory? I mean if someone says something that could insult your reputation, but only says it to you, then how does it hurt your reputation? Certainly if you tell others of the insult, you're the one responsible for the defamation of character.

Re:Defamatory? (1)

Sproggit (18426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151517)

Defamatory, no.
Libelous, no
Injurious language (
crimen injuria -according to South African law, for example), yes

Re:Defamatory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28154841)

True, but even in the US he might be able to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Well, in the states that recognize IIED as a tort, anyway.

serves them right. (1)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 5 years ago | (#28156617)

Something like that has to be dealt with appropriate punishment. I'm quite annoyed with orange as well. They are my isp as well and are being stupid. I have my broadband permanantly capped at peak usage hours (6pm to midnight) from 8mbps to 256kbps because last month I downloaded 72 gigs. This is fucking stupid as I have what you call one of those "unlimited" packages and am considerate enough to download stuff (large files) after midnight. Meh...its probably my own fault for not reading the fine print.

Re:serves them right. (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28163613)

I got the same letter from orange, capped cos i downloaded 73 gigs in a month. The previous letters were better though, the letter telling me I'd been capped for downloading 27 gigs in a month, followed a few days later by a letter telling me they'd sent me the wrong letter. Sometimes I don't think they know what they're doing.

Re:serves them right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28172363)

What could you guys been possibly downloading that takes 70+ gigs in one month (other than porn and/or pirated movies)?

Re:serves them right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28189713)

OpenSource DVD ISOs, dumbass

Random password generators (3, Funny)

Chuq (8564) | more than 5 years ago | (#28157037)

This reminds me of when I used to work ISP helpdesk and due to our contract with the local University, we had someone there signing people up - in this case, it was my turn. I had just completed the sign up procedure for an extremely hot blonde, and out came the printout with all the details on it - I looked at it and turned to her ... "um, I'll just generate you a different password"... I don't think she would have appreciated 'rapeShave9' for some reason.

Re:Random password generators (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28163649)

you'd have thought they could easily take offensive words out of password generators. I remember signing up for wikipedia, the captcha it presented me with was "headshits".

Re:Random password generators (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28163989)

Sounds like that could be varying combinations of words though.

Yes, it could come out as "head shits" but also as "heads hits" etc

Double-meanings like that are rumoured to be why added the hyphen to their URL. Apparently there were getting also sorts of weird traffic prior to that with the domain (capitalization emphasis mine).

Re:Random password generators (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170621)

Well, according to Google, they ARE ExpertSexChange. So, why add the hyphen?

Orange blows (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28158141)

In all honest, it would not surprise me if they did it on purpose. Their customer support is horrible. I requested to have roaming turned on for when I went to the US. I did this about a month before leaving.

I get to the US and nothing, no signal at all.

I get back to the UK and about 6 months after my trip, what happens? I get a fucking text telling my my roaming is now enabled. That was only the beginning, they did nothing but fuck up every single thing I requested including transferring my number to my new provider. Of course they never give you anything in writing even though you know they have email so it ends up costing me more money to get my number.

I'll never deal with them again.

More offensive examples (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 5 years ago | (#28166307)

Here are more negative examples for temp passwords including but not limited to "charlesmartel", "poitiers732", "svpretournerdansvotrepaysdorigine", "nousnallonspascapituler", and of course the functionally equivalent "lhygieneestquepourlesoccidentaux".

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