The other day we reported that Earthlink appeared to have joined a long list of ISPs using new technology that allows them to net search referral fees for both the hardware vendor and ISPs -- by sniffing and modifying user search traffic. Paxfire and RCN are currently being sued for the practice, and it remains unclear if the practice is legal.
"The ISPs involved stopped modifying results, but the ISPs largely still maintained the interception process: redirecting user traffic for the targeted search engines," ICSI's Nicholas Weaver tells Broadband Reports.
"As of the 16th of August most of the ISPs involved were still redirecting user search requests through Paxfire's proxies, but the systems weren't modifying results," he notes. "We haven't rechecked whether Netalyzr customers are still being redirected through these proxies after the 16th on an ISP-by-ISP basis, but there is some suggestion that this redirection is still ongoing."
The fact ISPs quickly modify these efforts when they are publicly disclosed -- and the fact no ISP wants to talk about using this new technology on the record -- speaks volumes about how comfortable many ISPs are with the legality of this effort. Most larger ISPs with larger legal departments and better lawyers (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast) seem to be steering clear of this technology for now.
I can't figure out why people still use Earthlink. Seems like you get none of the good, customer oriented service that you should get by choosing a third party ISP. I remember when they were a local ISP in Glendale, CA. Now they're like a zombie that won't die! -- AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011 Rethink Billable.
Using https whenever possible kills these search hijackings
Almost every site I go to on a daily basis has support for encrypted links, except for my.yahoo.com. And when you use that type of connection they can't redirect you based on search terms because those terms are encrypted. So when I do google searches they can't see my search terms so they can't hijack me. -- »www.rickperry.org/
I wonder what would happen if your telephone company pulled the same crap as these abusive ISP's. What would happen if they were caught rerouting a call you placed to Hertz, to Expedia, and had a CSR at Expedia that represented that they worked for Hertz. How long would it take for the Justice Department to file a lawsuit against a telephone company that pulled that crap. Fact is that many ISP's are amoral and have no sense of decency.
Why does that netalyzr link always crash when I try to go to it? The page will show for a few seconds and then IE closes and says the page was a problem. I have never seen IE do this on any web page. Either it gives me a 404 error or it churns and does not load. I am on Earthlink but I have been an OpenDNS user for some time.
Right? Lol, same here. Even if I had earthlink it wouldn't matter though, as the 2nd thing I do after setting up a new internet connection is set the DNS servers to OpenDNS. -- I'm pretty sure the small hole isn't a reset button, but is actually a microphone hole. So best not to stick anything inside it. ~jdkoreclipse@RootzWiki on the Nexus One