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What a 'Six Strikes' Copyright Notice Looks Like

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the horse-head-in-your-bed dept.

Piracy 273

The new Copyright Alert System, a.k.a. the 'Six Strikes' policy, went into effect on Monday. Comcast and Verizon activated it today. Ars Technica asked them and other participating ISPs to see the copyright alerts that will be sent to customers who have been identified as infringing. Comcast was the only one to grant their request, saying that a "small number" of the alerts have already been sent out. The alerts will be served to users in the form of in-browser popups. They explain what triggered the alert and ask the user to sign in and confirm they received the alert. (Not admitting guilt, but at least closing off the legal defense of "I didn't know.") The article points out that the alerts also reference an email sent to the Comcast email address associated with the account, something many users not be aware of. The first two notices are just notices. Alert #5 indicates a "Mitigation Measure" is about to be applied, and that users will be required to call Comcast's Security Assurance group and to be lectured on copyright infringement. The article outlines some of the CAS's failings, such as being unable to detect infringement through a VPN, and disregarding fair use. Comcast said, "We will never use account termination as a mitigation measure under the CAS. We have designed the pop-up browser alerts not to interfere with any essential services obtained over the Internet." Comcast also assures subscribers that their privacy is being protected, but obvious that's only to a point. According to TorrentFreak, "Comcast can be asked to hand over IP-addresses of persistent infringers, and the ISP acknowledges that copyright holders can then obtain a subpoena to reveal the personal details of the account holder for legal action."

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All about the money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43031947)

So this is why my comcast bill went up last month...

Queue the false positive stories... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43031955)

in 3...2...1

"In-browser popups?" (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43031961)

"In-browser popups?" On what pages? Is Comcast tampering with web pages not their own to insert messages? Do they do MITM attacks on secure pages to break in there?

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43031993)

There is *NOTHING* that can be done now about this. It is the law of the land, plain and simple. And it will probably spread across the globe.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032067)

That is complete and utter non-sense. Checking a certificate is sufficient to solve this problem.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (5, Informative)

dougmc (70836) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032199)

That is complete and utter non-sense. Checking a certificate is sufficient to solve this problem.

The "problem" being that your http streams are mucked with? You don't seem to understand the situation then ...

1) certificates are only used by SSL connections. Most web pages are still plaintext HTTP, not HTTPS.

2) even if you do look at the certificate and see that it's not what it should be (and therefore reject it) -- you're still not getting the page you asked for. At best, "checking a certificate" will allow you to avoid seeing their warning. Which might be nice, but things are *still* going to break until you see it and click "Click to Close" or whatever they have on it.

3) they might not do MITM attacks on http requests, but instead DNS requests. So you look up *anything*, and it gives you the address of their server that gives these notices. That will break *everything* until you click on it, not just http requests. (Thought it would work if you didn't rely on DNS requests going out for whatever reason.)

Re:"In-browser popups?" (4, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032675)

Either way it would be fun if everyone who gets one of these ( and has not infringed; dont worry it will happen) calls their local prosecuters office and demands their ISP be charged with uttering. Either they are altering a document you understand to be from another party or they are knowing sending an DNS reply that is untrue. Either way it might be possible to convince a court that it fits the definition of uttering. That might have implications for all those wifi registration systems too.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (2)

N!k0N (883435) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032753)

1) certificates are only used by SSL connections. Most web pages are still plaintext HTTP, not HTTPS.

While definitely true, that only speaks for ~today~ (or at least Monday). If you're running sites that may run afoul of this, you're probably gonna set up HTTPS ... or cut off the US.

3) they might not do MITM attacks on http requests, but instead DNS requests. So you look up *anything*, and it gives you the address of their server that gives these notices. That will break *everything* until you click on it, not just http requests. (Thought it would work if you didn't rely on DNS requests going out for whatever reason.)

And yet another reason to not use the ISP-provided DNS servers ...

Re:"In-browser popups?" (2)

OolimPhon (1120895) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032985)

And yet another reason to not use the ISP-provided DNS servers ...

That's not going to work without some extra effort. All they have to do is trap tcp/udp to port 53.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032903)

they might not do MITM attacks on http requests, but instead DNS requests.

I guess a simple solution there would be to either use someone else's DNS, or alternatively run your own.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (3, Interesting)

dougmc (70836) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032173)

There is *NOTHING* that can be done now about this. It is the law of the land, plain and simple.

As I understand, it's a policy, shared by several ISPs -- not a law. Are you saying that there's actual government laws behind this too?

Re:"In-browser popups?" (4, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032035)

I imagine it's through using their DNS

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

doesnothingwell (945891) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032391)

I had this sudden urge to try out google dns earlier this week.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032783)

Was it when Comcast DNS broke down again on Tuesday morning? I couldn't believe I still had a computer not set to use google or OpenDNS.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032979)

They could easily redirect your requests to Google DNS to their DNS.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033017)

They could easily redirect your requests to Google DNS to their DNS.

Google search for "Run your own DNS" now trending

Re:"In-browser popups?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032473)

What if you are using Open DNS?

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033195)

If they start blocking outbound DNS afterwards I'm going to be pissed.

My college wifi did that and it made their dns filtering software damn near bulletproof.

Who's making these laws? (1)

naroom (1560139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032057)

Since when can corporations act like governments?

Re:Who's making these laws? (5, Interesting)

naff89 (716141) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032153)

Corporations have a right to run their businesses however they want. The problem here is that, by all agreeing to restrict the rights of their customers in the same way, the corporations are colluding with one another to prevent those customers from simply switching to a competitor.

Re:Who's making these laws? (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032179)

In many regions, there's not even any collusion necessary, as there's only one ISP available for broadband.

Re:Who's making these laws? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032237)

Corporations have a right to run their businesses however they want

You state that with such conviction. It's not true.

Not even in the US with its institutionalized bribery and corruption is this true. It is FAR from true in many other places.

Re:Who's making these laws? (3, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032381)

Corporations have a right to run their businesses however they want.

Corporations don't have the right to run whatever however they want. As an executive or director you MUST always act accordingly and responsibly and you MUST maintain an ethical stature and operate within the confines within the law *.

As a rule of thumb any new policies and procedures a company institutes which later affect another business' income, then for the suffering business suing for loss of business is quite possible and quite winnable regardless of any clauses in contracts that say things like "we can disconnect you for any reason".

They weigh these new rules knowing that the risks of such things are low and they also know that a big and nasty enough legal defence can make those take down notices not worth the paper they are printed on. This is just an ass covering process for the ISP, nothing more.

* Though seeing this is in practice is a rarity, it is actually supposed to be the norm.

Re:Who's making these laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032361)

ROFL! Where have you been since NAFTA and the like was introduced? Politicians have sold themselves to the highest bidder and that ain't us, buddy.

Re:Who's making these laws? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032519)

Since the government decided that they made great proxy spies and hit men.

Ever heard of Equifax? They "protect" you from identity theft by compiling huge databases on you. It just sucks
now that you can't get a job because of a financial crises a decade ago. Oops, did they forget to delete it.
Sucks to be you.

Ever heard of Facebook? They are the every spy agencies dream proxy.

Unfortunately, there seems to be too few of us who have actually ever read the US Constitution.
Governments are instituted by PEOPLE to PROTECT PEOPLE. Corporations should are NOT people and
they sure as hell don't PROTECT people.

Re:Who's making these laws? (1)

penix1 (722987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032801)

Unfortunately, there seems to be too few of us who have actually ever read the US Constitution.
Governments are instituted by PEOPLE to PROTECT PEOPLE. Corporations should are NOT people and
they sure as hell don't PROTECT people.

That is rich... You are arguing that you have a Constitutional right to violate the Constitution...

Article 1 Section 8 Clause 8:
The Congress shall have Power...

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

You may not like it but to argue that trying to enforce this clause of the Constitution is unconstitutional is the weakest argument to make.

Re:Who's making these laws? (2)

Soluzar (1957050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033055)

It isn't "for limited times" anymore, so... nobody is sticking to that particular clause.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032059)

Most people browse the vast majority of the web via HTTP. Even leaving aside sites that don't even support HTTPS, damn near everybody will visit an HTTP page at some point. Hell, Slashdot auto-redirects from HTTPS back to HTTP. Absolutely no need to MitM SSL connections (which they'd have to get an intermediate trusted CA cert for anyhow).

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032175)

Most people browse the vast majority of the web via HTTP. Even leaving aside sites that don't even support HTTPS, damn near everybody will visit an HTTP page at some point. Hell, Slashdot auto-redirects from HTTPS back to HTTP. Absolutely no need to MitM SSL connections (which they'd have to get an intermediate trusted CA cert for anyhow).

While the vast majority of sites may be HTTP or even HTTP only it is also true there is a significant percentage of users who ever go to a very short list of sites like facebook, google and youtube all of which have SSL. SSL use is growing significantly. In a few years time you will not be able to buy a server without AES-NI.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032363)

That is completely meaningless, in a time of popup blockers, ad blockers and malware-filtering personal firewalls!

The Comcunt "popups" (hell, who even still uses a browser that supports popups?) will be blocked and filtered in 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:"In-browser popups?" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032129)

Comcast isn't even aware of the difference between 0.02 dollar and 0.02 cent, and you expect them to comprehend the concept of the Internet being more than just the WWW, the concept of ad/popup blockers, and even the concept of MITM attack?

Also: PROTIP: It goes over their routers and wires! It is always a MITM attack! It always has been! If you think there wasn't any man in the middle before, you're a moron! Learn your Internets!

Re:"In-browser popups?" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032151)

If it is legal to edit the source of a web page on the fly, why is it illegal for media boxes to skip advertisements on television programmes?

Re:"In-browser popups?" (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033217)

Because big corporations have more rights than individuals.

Even completely ignoring the blatant corruption and bribery involved in politics, the corporation having a superior legal budget gives them a very strong de-facto immunity to many things you'd get hanged for as a person.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032489)

Is Comcast tampering with web pages not their own to insert messages?

If they are, then they are making unauthorised derivatives of a copyrighted work.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032915)

They're making unlicensed copies of copyrighted works every time they retransmit a packet.

For whatever reason this kind of trivial argument is allowed to make things like EULAs enforceable in some court rulings (you copy software into RAM to run it), but it doesn't apply to wire transmissions. The bottom line is that the first case gives big corporations more power, and the second case would just cost them money.

The saner approach to copyright is to consider all of this stuff non-infringing - they aren't reselling movies and such, which was the whole point of copyright back before all the nonsense took off.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032963)

I haven't seen it, but this almost certainly works like captive portal wifi gateways. It'll spoof a 302, redirect your browser to a local WAN page with the warning, and then surfing will continue as usual. I expect the comcast rep simply didn't know the lingo.

Re:"In-browser popups?" (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033127)

No, this is common practice for a lot of ISPs. I believe they just re-direct you with DNS. This is why I don't use my ISPs DNS.

Only the clueless will be hit by this (5, Insightful)

ciurana (2603) | about a year and a half ago | (#43031983)

Netflix Instant Play monthly cost: less than $10, vs. IPREDator or equivalent VPN at about $5. Get a half decent Usenet or BitTorrent client, and the system has been circumvented.

I suspect that ISPs adopted these measures more to appease the content providers than to fight the actual problem.

Why won't the content providers address the obvious, and just make the content available through Netflix/iTunes/Amazon/VUDU/etc. soon after release? Such venues would enable them to profit from the home user who'd then download and pay without a hassle, and at the same time protect secondary international markets where other deals may be in place.

I guess these people learned nothing from Napster, iTunes, and music stores.

Cheers!

E

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032103)

Netflix Instant Play monthly cost: less than $10, vs. IPREDator or equivalent VPN at about $5. Get a half decent Usenet or BitTorrent client, and the system has been circumvented.

I suspect that ISPs adopted these measures more to appease the content providers than to fight the actual problem.

Why won't the content providers address the obvious, and just make the content available through Netflix/iTunes/Amazon/VUDU/etc. soon after release? Such venues would enable them to profit from the home user who'd then download and pay without a hassle, and at the same time protect secondary international markets where other deals may be in place.

I guess these people learned nothing from Napster, iTunes, and music stores.

Cheers!

E

I thought the content owners either were ISP also, or they are buying up various big ISP.

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032147)

Seriously?

First of all Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, etc all suck. I definitely won't be switching to any of them. They don't work across platforms and are infected with digital restriction crap (for instance I don't have access to ANY of them) with the Linux distributions I run. They aren't remotely standards complaint. There depending on proprietary crap like flash and silverlight. Both aren't widely supported anymore (if they ever were) and what support exists is disappearing fast. iPads, many Android tablets, and other devices don't support either format not to mention other devices on the market. Firefox for instance isn't getting updates beyond security. I don't use chrome either. Not to watch movies/tv shows online anyway.

The "alternative" sites aren't that great either although at least some of them don't force proprietary software on you. No thanks. I'm not the stupid one here. You are. Your the one whose letting companies **** you up the ***.

I wouldn't use Comcast and my ISP is definitely not signing up to this program (yet anyway).

These ISPs are also not actually cutting off access so people who don't want to participate can ignore the industry after about six notices (which suck). While what they are doing is unacceptable (interfering with peoples Internet traffic) and likely illegal it isn't going to curtail piracy in a major way.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have already done that for the user base which might be swayed by this.

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (3, Insightful)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032189)

Seriously?

First of all Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, etc all suck. I definitely won't be switching to any of them. They don't work across platforms and are infected with digital restriction crap (for instance I don't have access to ANY of them) with the Linux distributions I run. They aren't remotely standards complaint. There depending on proprietary crap like flash and silverlight. Both aren't widely supported anymore (if they ever were) and what support exists is disappearing fast. iPads, many Android tablets, and other devices don't support either format not to mention other devices on the market. Firefox for instance isn't getting updates beyond security. I don't use chrome either. Not to watch movies/tv shows online anyway.

Actually, at least Amazon Prime's "free" content (my roomate has a Prime account, I have XBMC, and we share a living room...) and Hulu are just using RTMPE... utterly broken, and it's pretty great. There are easily available XBMC plugins (bluecop repository) that integrate reasonably, and the experience is at least better than cable. Which sort of makes me wonder (given that DVDs have effectively been DRM free since ever and bluray is easily broken by people who really care) why the video industry even bothers with DRM. I'm kind of bummed that I can't use stuff like Netflix, or actually buy tv series and whatnot on Amazon (buying the permission to stream DRM encumbered crap from a third party isn't exactly buying if you ask me... just let me download the files, I don't upload my music to the pirate bay trust me I won't upload the movie either guys).

I hate being treated like a bad person just for wanting content that doesn't look horrible on a 50" screen without atrocious DRM (bluray's whole thing where new discs can prevent you from reading old discs or anything at all at the hardware level is just plain evil, and they wonder why the optical media industry is dying).

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033209)

Netflix made a business choice, you made an ideological choice, don't blame them because Linux is first and foremost a mindset.

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (5, Insightful)

guevera (2796207) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032193)

Why won't the content providers address the obvious, and just make the content available through Netflix/iTunes/Amazon/VUDU/etc. soon after release? Because a) they're whole strategy is to safeguard their cable revenue and b) netflix money is not cable money. Netflix costs $9 month. Cable costs 5-12 times that. You think some of the richest companies in America want to give up that kinda money? You think they'll give that up without a fight? Would you?

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033069)

I do what's right not what's for the money. You?

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (1)

skine (1524819) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032495)

You seem to make the assumption that DVD + legal home downloads generates more money than DVD + suing people at random.

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032745)

Not to mention mucking with your more acceptance of self signed SSL's, Torrents, Proxy's, DNS settings, VPN, having a look at the tor network and there is new one out I can't remeber the name of off hand.

Fibre will handle all this traffic.

Re:Only the clueless will be hit by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033013)

Probably the goal is not to protect that content owner, but to use the content owner to develop a controlled society...

The "browser sign" method is also a great way to force you to use the "correct DNS", since "not signing" most probably means that the ISP has the right to cut your connection until you "fix your dns", or even better they can reroute any DNS ip/traffic to their DNS.

And of course the issue of using Netflix/iTunes/Amazon/VUDU/etc ... is that albeit people would probably end up agreing to provide some % of their phone bill to have content access, this does not define who is getting this % ? and if you have to pay to everybody then it starts to be real expensive.
And if you pay to only "one" then they become the gatekeeper of all your information, wich is probably the "endgame" ...
iTunes vs Amazon ...
and your identity is handled by Facebook...

Please pinch me I'd like to wake up from this nightmare and get back to the real internet (who am I kidding it never existed ...)

Nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032007)

People act like this will only affect pirates, but that is far from the truth. There is no oversight to this, so this, like DMCA notices, will harm innocent people.

adblock? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032015)

Would using adblock or simply preventing unwanted "popup" from opening block this notice? I've honestly never seen a single popup since I've started using Opera over 6 years ago, not to mention ads.

SOPA vs 6 Strikes (5, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032031)

The outrage that defeated SOPA is missing. Is it because the harm isn't as clear, big companies like google aren't stepping into the fray, or the association with "pirates" is too toxic? Or is it d) all of the above?

Re:SOPA vs 6 Strikes (1)

naff89 (716141) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032093)

First they came for the torrents, and I didn't speak out, because I did not download torrents...

Re:SOPA vs 6 Strikes (4, Interesting)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032117)

Perhaps it's because it's the ISPs making the rules, instead of the government.

Re:SOPA vs 6 Strikes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032481)

Rock on rock on ROCK ON [magentogo-themes.com]

Pop-ups? (5, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032063)

Who in this day and age still has pop-ups enabled in their browsers?

Re:Pop-ups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032399)

Who in this day and age still has pop-ups enabled in their browsers?

Those of us who have to, due to shitty software/web interfaces.

Re:Pop-ups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033185)

My ISP (Rogers) does this for their bandwidth warnings. I think you get one at 75% used and then one at 100% used.

It's not actually a pop-up, it's just a little bar that appears at the top of every webpage that alerts you and has you click "I acknowledge". It isn't very intrusive, doesn't stop you from browsing and it doesn't pop up.

Comcast may be using a different system, but like you said, who allows pop ups these days?

After 6 strikes, watch a video and start over? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032073)

Sounds like it's a fair price to pay if it means that we can't get brought into court for pirating just about anything. If that were the case then I'd be ok with it but of course this is not a black and white world we live in.

appeal fraud (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032089)

Apparently even if you successfully challenge the "back breaking straw" copyright alert that triggers a mitigation notice, you have to defeat at least half of ALL notices to get the mitigation removed.

Kinda like getting your license suspended after getting your 6th ticket, but then having to overturn not only your 6th ticket but also 2 other tickets to get your license reinstated.

You have to sign the notice??? (3, Interesting)

wolverine2k (2620741) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032111)

Firstly, I think popups are generally disabled by people who know how to use torrents. And secondly, they require the popup to be signed so you cannot say "I didn't know" further down the line. Now what happens if you see the popup and just close it (CTRL+W or CTRL+F4)? Does it count as seen? Or better still, pull the popup window to a side and keep doing what you are doing. And shutdown after you are done. Now does that count? And what if I challenge the ISP to show me proof for the notice. Will they do it or just ignore me? If they ignore me, I can ignore them and so the story can go...

Re:You have to sign the notice??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032169)

Note that "popup", like most words once used by a small group with a well-understood meaning, lost the specificity of that meaning as it gained popular use -- spouted by a PR goon, it could mean anything these days. Most likely, it's a DNS hijack that displays the nth strike warning page instead of whatever you were trying to browse to. If you don't "sign" it, I expect they keep shoving it in your face by more DNS hijacking. (And while many torrenters know to use an alternate DNS, many do not.)

If you use a non-comcast DNS, IDK, maybe claiming you don't know because you don't check your comcast email is enough to get let off... once. (Of course, using an alternate DNS is probably a TOS violation in the first place...)

Re:You have to sign the notice??? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032337)

I was also just thinking this might be a DNS hijacking based on the summary. If so, sounds like I'll remain unaffected from their attempts to waste my time doing what I want with my web browser, because I haven't been using the ISP-provided DNS resolver for quite a while now. And I don't even know what my ISP-provided e-mail address and password even is, let alone the site to go to, to get to their webmail interface. If it were a standard webmail service, the account would have been deleted years ago due to inactivity.

Re:You have to sign the notice??? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033041)

They can redirect your DNS queries to their DNS if they want.

In truth, no DNS tampering is needed, all they need to do is redirect any request to port 80 on any IP to their web server.

Re:You have to sign the notice??? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033065)

My friend ISP does just that when he doesn't pay his bill, redirect anything to port 80 to their web server. Everything else, including DNS, https, mail, skype and what not continues to work normally.

Here's the form (5, Funny)

Zembar (803935) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032115)

Apologies to the author of the original(can be found at http://craphound.com/spamsolutions.txt [craphound.com] ):

Your law advocates a

(x) technical (x) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting piracy. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(x) Legitimate bittorrent uses would be affected
(x) It is defenseless against VPNs
(x) It will stop piracy for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(x) Users of netflix will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(x) Requires too much cooperation from pirates
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(x) Many internet users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(x) TOR endpoints in foreign countries
(x) Asshats
(x) Jurisdictional problems
(x) Unpopularity of net restrictions
(x) Pop-up blockers
(x) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of piracy
(x) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(x) Technically illiterate politicians
(x) Dishonesty on the part of pirates themselves

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) IP headers should not be the subject of legislation
(x) Blacklists suck
(x) Whitelists suck
(x) We should be able to watch youtube without being permanently disconnected from the net
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(x) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
(x) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
(x) I don't want private corporations suing me for downloading my own files

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
(x) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Illegitimate legitimacy (4, Interesting)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032133)

It is amusing to see comcast and others think just cause everyone else is doing it or because they have "industry" documents like RFC 6108 this somehow insulates them from "stupid".

Injecting shit into http is HARMFUL no matter what BS you can get accepted by throwing your largess around and sponsoring IETF meetings. You simply cannot know a-priori what side effects of injecting javascript crap into HTTP transactions are. In case you have been living under a rock for the past decade sadly everyones using HTTP for transport these days.

As I type no doubt the phishers are working overtime on fake popups emulating comcasts piracy notifications.

I hope sleeping with the MPAA is worth bad press, legal exposure and pissing off your paying customers.

Re:Illegitimate legitimacy (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032395)

"Injecting shit into http is HARMFUL no matter what BS you can get accepted ..."

Wait and see.

Some clever dude will analyze how it works exactly, build a special environment that is vulnerable to it, so that it loses data/business/whatever and sue their asses off.

Re:Illegitimate legitimacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032829)

I hope sleeping with the MPAA is worth bad press, legal exposure and pissing off your paying customers.

They're not just sleeping with them, but happen to be one of the guilty parties. Doesn't anyone remember the Comcast-NBC-Universal merger thingy? Nope, no potential for conflict of interest there, no siree Bob!

No details offered? (5, Interesting)

jd659 (2730387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032141)

From the TFA, the message from Comcast reads:

"As part of the Copyright Alerts System operated by the Center for Copyright Information, a copyright owner has sent Comcast a notice claiming your Internet service from Comcast was used to copy or share a movie, television program or song improperly...."

There are absolutely no details about who the copyright owner is, what specific content was infringed, when the alleged infringement was made, what details identifies MY "Internet service", etc.

A more legally correct wording could state "Someone who claims to be the copyright owner, claims that the copyright was infringed from the specific IP which we, Comcast, claim to be belonging to your account at the claimed time of the infringement." But that would be just too many "claims"!

Re:No details offered? (2)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032309)

Supposedly that information is sent to your @comcast.com e-mail account. You can probably count on one hand how many people actually use their ISP-provided e-mail address, so few people are going to see the details of their alleged infractions--by design, I'd say.

Re:No details offered? (3, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032913)

I am a Time Warner customer, and I signed up during their beta testing roll out back in 1995. I still have my "signup packet" here sitting on the same shelf for these last 18 years, and this is the first time I've touched it in those 18 years.

There is absolutely no mention of an account or an email address with them.

I can only assume an email address would have been assigned to me, but I have no idea how to sign in to it. It looks like they now maintain a customer portal as well, but again I have no idea how to sign in to it.

While I don't use bit torrent these days at all nor download commercial music or movies, for SOME silly reason I have little faith this new system will have zero false positives despite the lack of infringing activity.
My online video watching is limited to youtube blip and twitch, primarily gaming videos (completely created by those that post them I should add) and whatever random link clicking youtube may take me to... At least until this last weekend.

I noticed over the weekend my public IP changed, and ever since then my service has been running slow as shit.
20+% packet loss, speeds under 1 megabit (for 10mbit down service), it takes a good 30 minutes to buffer a 10 minute youtube video, and for the first time ever my network meter app is showing a line reporting "Blacklisted IP ratio 5/72"

I can't help but wonder if the two are related, and what sort of situation I might be/get stuck in.

I use Firefox with adblock and noscript with a fairly tight whitelist. They give no details about what "popup" means but the traditional popup I will never see. At least I am not seeing any time warner related URLs under the noscript menu.

I'm now thinking about trying out one of these many VPN services just to see what happens to my connection speeds. The first couple I checked have a free trial period (Either most do or I just got very lucky)

Since the ISPs don't seem to have any issue throwing around accusations without proof, I won't feel so bad having not collected more proof when calling them up complaining about the results with my own assumed accusations.

Perhaps if their phone support techs get enough comments about it, that count will get passed up to someone that matters. Doubtful, but you never know. Maybe I'll get lucky and be one of the calls monitored by a manager.
I've never been one to yell or get angry at the poor tech answering the phone, but have no issue bringing up questions they are likely sick of hearing, nor mind playing dumb when they treat me as dumb first.

"Yes sir I know, but we have to follow the trouble shooting guide. Now reboot your computer again, and reboot the cable modem again, I'll wait here..."

"You know I've heard about this new internet monitoring spying thing the US is doing everywhere.. You think it's like in the movies where hearing breathing in the phone would cause my connection to have these problems? I bet that would cause a lot of problems, so many connections to keep up with. Are you absolutely sure that isn't the problem? It still sounds like it to me."

Jam the claim system (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033151)

There are absolutely no details about who the copyright owner is, what specific content was infringed, when the alleged infringement was made, what details identifies MY "Internet service", etc.

A more legally correct wording could state "Someone who claims to be the copyright owner, claims that the copyright was infringed from the specific IP which we, Comcast, claim to be belonging to your account at the claimed time of the infringement." But that would be just too many "claims"!

It would be fun to see bots filing bogus copyright claims with all the ISPs with the IP addresses of entertainment MBAs, their lawyers, lawmakers, celebs...

Purely an intellectual exersize; I would never advocate such a thing.

Perish the thought.

Combine this with e.g. yesterday's post... (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032143)

..."Aaron Schwartz: reasons for him being persecuted by DOJ were political" ( as admitted by the DOJ itself ) - and many others.

US = nascent police state.

so much for the ignorance defense (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032241)

They think that the copyright cartels are their buddies for taking their bribes and fighting their fight, but when this fails just like all the rest of their evil greedy plans of never letting so much as a penny slip through their fingers the ISPs participating in this may find it difficult to testify to a judge with a straight face that they have no control of the infringing content transmitted over their network. This strategy may not bite them in the ass today, or even next week or next month, but someday it will. He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

Re:so much for the ignorance defense (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032835)

News Flash: Comcast IS a Copyright cartel. They have been buying and merging with big media companies for a decade now...

5 Strikes and i change my ISP! (2)

Yell0w (1130567) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032285)

5 Strikes and i change my ISP!

Re:5 Strikes and i change my ISP! (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032743)

Exactly how many broadband providers do you have in your area?

And how many of them are just as good or better than your current one?

What will I do? Probably cancel my premium cable and use the money to get a VPN service.

Summary inaccurate (1)

Wallslide (544078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032307)

I read the article. In the summary, the following is stated:

"The article outlines some of the CAS's failings, such as being unable to detect infringement through a VPN"

The article says no such thing. The reference to VPNs in the article states that if a user is always tunneling through a VPN, Comcast will be unable to inject data into their datastream, and thus the user may never see a "popup" warning in their browser. Added to the fact that users may not be aware that their Comcast service comes with a Comcast email account (or they may never check it), and there is no guarantee that a user will ever see a warning sent by Comcast.

Re:Summary inaccurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032475)

I read the article. In the summary, the following is stated:

"The article outlines some of the CAS's failings, such as being unable to detect infringement through a VPN"

The article says no such thing.

From TFA:

When Ars asked him to confirm that Six Strikes would not be able to see a potential violation if the user was using a VPN, he responded: “I think you’re right."

Which damn well is such a thing.

The reference to VPNs in the article states that if a user is always tunneling through a VPN, Comcast will be unable to inject data into their datastream, and thus the user may never see a "popup" warning in their browser.

Unless "Six Strikes" means "a user" and "a potential violation" means "a copyright alert", your interpretation has nothing to do with what TFA says. Dumbass.

Punishing the sink? (1)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032365)

I always wondered why possession/acquiring of copyright material is a crime.

The whole problem of making possession/downloading illegal is it tries to fight human nature in a clumsy way (I get that while downloading torrents you also MIGHT seed it - there might not be anyone else downloading from you). People will always want free stuff. If I find a copy of a popular book being sold at half price on the pavement, I will buy it (esp. if the print is great).

At certain times, fighting human nature is important/worth it (e.g. stealing and killing others is illegal). At other times, it is just plain stupid (e.g. War on XYZ). In the end if people want it badly enough they will find a way to get what they want, consequences be damned (see how much stealing laws work against a starving man). You are trying to make natural behavior illegal, and coming up with technical measures to prevent it. Which has the gaping loophole that most technical barriers can/will be breached. And there is little cost to building digital workarounds.

Lots of workaround (1)

terminal.dk (102718) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032423)

Install TOR (if not against AUP), and tell them that you do not download crap not worth paying for, but that you are an exit node for TOR. Thustraffic from your IP can be assumed to originate from other computers. Inform FBI about the same thing, such that a judge can never issue a warrant as there is no reasonable suspicion against you. And that if you want to download crap, your traffic will use TOR to originate from another IP.

Use a VPN or virtual server for you criminal activities. You can get $2-$5/mo virtual servers powerfull enough for VPN. You can get them in Europe, Canada, South Africa. You name it, you get it.

But again, the whole idea is to hit the stupid guy with below average IQ and below average income. They are the ones least likely to get a qualified defense.

Re:Lots of workaround (5, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032583)

Thus traffic from your IP can be assumed to originate from other computers. .. if you want to download crap, your traffic will use TOR to originate from another IP.

"I'm not downloading copyright material illegally, I'm just aiding anonymous others to do it, and they are anonymously returning the favor." Yeah, the FBI and judges will have absolutely no problem with that.

You can get $2-$5/mo virtual servers powerfull enough for VPN.

Hang on, didn't you say it was crap not worth paying for? Here you are paying for it, and presumably spending time watching/listening to it. Your time has absolutely no value that it you actively seek out crap to waste it on? Or is the value of this "crap" conveniently flexible enough to fit whatever point you want to make?

Re:Lots of workaround (2)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032983)

And show me an ISP that lets you run Tor in their AUP. Because pretty much all of them forbid any sort of proxying for others, which would be taken to include Tor.

Hell, even my external virtual server has a clause about "only proxying for your own use" (so I can set up a VPN, or email proxy, and proxy my connection, but only for me to use - I can't go advertising it or selling it to others)

Re:Lots of workaround (1)

CtrlAltieDel (2853425) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032635)

Exactly how would Tor or a Tor Client be used to circumvent these measures? For instance, using Tor with Firefox still requires the use of a third party BitTorrent client in order to download movies or music from a site such as PirateBay, KickAss Torrent, MiniNova, etc... About the only thing I can think of that can be downloaded using Tor are pix or documents or files of some some sort that have a normal browser download avenue. Otherwise, you can use Tor all day long but, as soon as you start downloading with your BitTorrent client, they got 'ya. The old, and discontinued, OperaTor may have worked for what you are suggesting because Opera has a BitTorrent built into the browser and you would be using Tor and Opera and the BitTorrent client simultaneously but, it's not available any longer. I used to get "Violation Notices" from Charter all the time but they never did anything. They also aren't currently on the list of ISP's that have joined this exercise. Nevertheless, the notices did kind of scare me, so, I started using the BitTorrent client called Transmission, coupled with IBlock List and haven't had another warning since. I'm assuming this method will continue to work.

man in the middle (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032479)

Man in the middle attack is completely unacceptable.

Write a virus that (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032507)

attack computers on those networks then make those computers download copyrighted materials. Eventually 1000's will get the notice and maybe they'll notice.

Sigh. (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032541)

A pop-up I wasn't expecting inserted into my normal web browsers, and breaking any secure sites that it might pop up on prompting security warnings, asking me to click a button, sign-in, etc.?

Yeah, that won't be a scam, will it?

How about this - you have these people's address and billing details, send them a damn letter by recorded delivery if you want them to read it.

Personally, everything I've been advising my users NOT to do for the last ten years would ensure that those warnings are ALL ignored and/or the person runs off to check their antivirus because they are quite obviously not supposed to be there when you have typed in www.google.com or whatever.

Sign in to confirm? Hah (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032617)

They explain what triggered the alert and ask the user to sign in and confirm they received the alert. (Not admitting guilt, but at least closing off the legal defense of "I didn't know.")

If only there was some way of getting around that, like, um... not signing in and confirming you've received the alert? Yeah, that loophole's well and truly closed, well done.

Re:Sign in to confirm? Hah (1)

CtrlAltieDel (2853425) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032667)

You will likely be unable to proceed on to another page or site without first confirming receipt of the warning, as was being discussed earlier in the thread.

Re:Sign in to confirm? Hah (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032717)

Well, that sucks. I underestimated their evil. I also assumed an "in-browser pop-up" to be an addition to a webpage, rather than a replacement.

How about NAT and having several computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032719)

So, when they detect piracy, what http stream will they inject their warning into?

There may be none at the moment, because the 'piracy' may have been done using torrents/ftp/whatever. But they can obviously just wait for a http connection to open.

But many homes have several computers. And the ISP cannot know, due to NAT routers. So what if I am doing an "apt-get upgrade" which fetch 40MB of (legal) packages over http every week, while someone else pirate something? If such an ISP inject a warning in a random http stream, they are most likely to corrupt my fully legal http file transfers - because they will be the majority of http traffic through that NAT router.

And if they hit my browser - well, not only does it block popups, it also blocks both javascript and third-party URLs unless I explicitly whitelist the site. They will perhaps notice that their stuff does not even get downloaded.

Re:How about NAT and having several computers? (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033033)

I haven't read TFA, and am not speaking for Comcast (nor condoning them), but most of your concern is probably misguided:

They probably insert a javascript popup into javascript / HTML files that are accessed. Yes, it will affect all NAT'd users but you can't say "Well, you informed my flatmate but not me the account holder" because you used a different connection to the one warned.

I imagine they intercept ALL HTTP requests that provide an HTML response. Thus, everyone behind the NAT sees it. And no downloads or other services are affected. Because it's an inserted code into the HTML stream, it doesn't matter if you block popups, nor even that Javascript is turned off. When you request www.google.com, they will send you an HTML file that contains the popup and won't stop doing that until you "agree" to it (the question of who ends up clicking that agree button is a legal minefield, I admit). It won't set off SSL warnings because you can't inject into an HTTPS stream without breaking things. It won't matter what browser or settings you use - any HTML request will respond with the page that you need to agree to.

It's the same method used to operate wifi hotspots all over the world.

How do I know? My ISP used to have something similar 10 years ago. If they detected port 139 was unsecured on your network (by the presence of packets heading out of the network) they would block your web access until you agreed that you would take responsibility for it. I clicked that dialog four times in my life, I think (and, no, I didn't have open SMB shares exposed to the world, I'd just done a couple of nmap scans on my own external machines and it caused the alerts).

It didn't break anything, it was pretty certain that someone would see it and agree to it (and this was back before browsers supported half of what they do now), and it was effective (they had logs of when I had "agreed" to it, which was used by one of their tech support reps to determine that I know what I was talking about when I later had a problem - "Ah, an nmap user, okay, could you just do this for me...").

It's the Eternal Jew, again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032737)

The Eternal Jew, who leeches off the products of everybody else's labour, while never doing any work themselves...

This is a 'Jew tax', just like most of the other taxes you pay...

All designed to keep the Jew in power, power over YOU and your children...

We can't have Jews doing manual labour! Whatever next?

www.jewishproblem.com

Wake up.

obligatory comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032799)

I for one, pay heed to our new corporate masters!

Waste of time (1)

suckitharder (1998380) | about a year and a half ago | (#43032813)

This is only going to scare the people using public services. 99% useless and a complete waste of time and money. Typical of the majority of out problems in this country.

What is improperly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43032853)

“What is ‘improperly?' This is one of the problems with the system,” Derek Bambauer, a tech law professor at the University of Arizona, e-mailed Ars after he saw the alert pages.

Obviously the proper way to do it would have prevented Comcast from being able to see it. See VPN and other suggestions posted above.

What if your child sees this and clicks it away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033087)

A lot of people (not most slashdotters lol) have children. What if this pops up and the kid just clicks it away and never mentions it to his parents? It could easily get up to message #6 without the parents ever knowing about it. And then what?

Browser popup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033159)

so you run firefox, with pop-ups blocked, you will never get a notice? How "stupid"! Do not track marked, and they will never see how you got there, come on folks, they have packet sniffers, on your set, no at the bad guys place. Violation of your rights.

Comcast (2)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033177)

may not ever use account termination as a way of enforcing this, but I certainly will use account termination as a way of dealing with it.

That thing where they tell you you have to call them?
That call will be to cancel my service.

(and no, I don't use torrents, (except steam) but that hardly matters)

Post public domain triggers (1)

tdc_vga (787793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43033197)

If anyone can pulls an alert from a public domain torrent, please post the link. I'd really like to get my 5 alerts out of the way this weekend so I can speak with the CAS team about how utterly useless they, and their entire scheme, are before my account cancels.

Americans.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43033199)

I pity you.

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