net neutrality

Cable One Browser Hijacking

I started seeing alerts today which said the following:

CableONE is excited to present the new in-browser notification system!

CableONE wants to keep you informed about critical service changes, maintenance events and important account information on a more timely, and therefore useful, basis. In order to do so, CableONE may periodically send you bulletins, like this one, which will automatically appear within your Internet browser. This process does not involve collecting any information about your activity on the Internet and, other than this initial communication to receive your preferences, will be a one-way process. To learn more about this new communication method, as well as how to change or configure your notifications, please click the “Learn More” button located above. Thank you!

I immediately opted out of the system as it frankly creeps me out that they're hijacking my HTTP traffic for whatever purposes they want. I can see the temptation. They're planning weather alerts and amber alerts. They want to alert me to network issues which may be affecting me. I get the benefits. Call me old school, but I want an ISP that just connects me to the Internet and leaves my traffic alone.

I also worry about the precedent. Maybe they start sending me notifications of really good deals from their partners. Maybe they start changing banner ads to be from companies they select. Perhaps they start blocking sites they don't like, or that don't pay them a fee. It's a trend I wouldn't like to see started.

Bottom line, if I wanted somebody mucking with my bits, I'd sign up with Comcast.


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