Armstrong Zoom, a northeastern US ISP with about a million subscribers, has sent its customers warnings that they have been accused of copyright infringement, and that subsequent accusations would lead to having their network connections slowed to the point of uselessness, which could impair their ability to control their internet-connected thermostats.
In the regions in which Armstrong Zoom operates, a malfunctioning thermostat in winter could result in frozen pipes, floods, and death of pets and even people.
Note that the punishments Armstrong Zoom is threatening have no due process, and the customers are considered guilty without even the chance to prove themselves innocent.
“Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.”
Accused pirates who want their full service restored, and regain control over their thermostats, have to answer some copyright questions and read an educational piece about copyright infringement.
When they sign an agreement acknowledging that they have done so, full Internet access is restored. However, if more complaints come in later, the consequences will be more severe.
Piracy Notices Can Mess With Your Thermostat, ISP Warns
My end-of-the-year roundup the year in DRM for EFF’s Deeplinks blog hits seven lowlights, from the catastrophic (the W3C greenlighting DRM for the web) to the idiotic (
Section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) give DRM incredible protections: it’s illegal to bypass DRM in products you own, for legal purposes, and merely investigating or revealing defects in products with DRM can land you in jail.
Tis the season (1:12:27).
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