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TalkTalk campaign against government plans to disconnect file sharers
Wednesday 21 October 2009 10:24:19 by Sebastien Lahtinen

A survey commissioned by TalkTalk has found that 5% of wireless networks are open, without any security to restrict its use to authorised users. The survey was conducted on 11 October found 41% of a total of over 1,000 wireless networks were 'vulnerable to unauthorised use', mostly due to use of deprecated (obsolete) WEP encryption rather than the stronger WPA or WPA2 type. TalkTalk suggest that on this basis, over 7 million wireless networks could be vulnerable across the UK.

It also warned that 56% used WPA, which it suggested could become "hackable soon" due to a vulnerability which has been detected. In particular, only 3% of users used the WPA2 level of encryption which is recommended.

TalkTalk have carried out this research to illustrate the problems of government proposals on disconnecting those found to be downloading music without a legal right to do so, suggesting that it was possible for those looking to download unlawful content could just use others' connections, landing them in trouble instead. The company has launched a 'Don't Disconnect Us' campaign attacking the government's policy.

  1. It by-passes the courts and gives rightsholders quasi-judicial powers
  2. It exposes millions of people to false prosecution since it is based on an approach where those suspected of illegal filesharing will be presumed guilty and have to prove their innocence in order to avoid being falsely disconnected
  3. It will do little to tackle illegal filesharing since the main offenders will easily avoid detection by using other people's broadband connections to download content or encrypting their activity.  Indeed the proposed measures will increase Wi-Fi and PC hijacking and so increase even further the chances of innocent customers being wrongly cut off.
TalkTalk's three principle objections to the government plans to disconnect unlawful file sharers


Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
cheap publicity.

Talk Talk terms and conditions already empower them to take action :-

6.1 You agree not to use the Services:

6.1.2 ...uploading or downloading any data or material which are or may be reasonably deemed to be in breach of any intellectual property right (including copyright) "

7.1 We may suspend immediately the provision of the Services to you until further notice without compensation if:

7.1.1 we reasonably suspect that you are in breach of these Conditions;
Posted by Gypsydog over 8 years ago
If these conditions impinge upon or negate statutory rights it would be deemed an 'unfair contract'.
e.g. In France, similar proposals for cutting off an individals broadband connection were deemed to against the individuals human rights by the French courts.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
the problem I found is WPA2 on my router is buggy, (pings stop working on lan after a short time and things like windows file sharing also break) so have to use WPA. The whole disconnecting file sharers model is very flawed, good on spain for rejecting it.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
herdwick their own t&c's have that in so they covered legally, if TT were told to cut someone off by a court order and didnt have that in their T&C's then the customer could sue them for breach of contract.
Has anyone provided a good reason why media companies should be excused from using courts?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
chrysalis - What router do you have, as a matter of interest?

Also, while there is an attack on WPA with TKIP, you can use WPA with AES which dosn't share the flaw, and very few devices would support one and not the other.
Posted by ccsnet over 8 years ago
Be warned this will be an issue soon - whether your DL or not you get scum after you - - For the record I own the said item and didnt DL yet my IP has been identified - What TT has said is right. Oh - Remember Davenport / Lyons - This lot are related.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Can you name the "item" in question, or the making company ccsnet? I want to know who not to buy from for a decade or so.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
fairly trivial for an ISP to route an offender or suspect to a web page requiring them to stop the unlawful activity or demonstrate that they aren't doing anything unlawful in order to have their connectivity re-instated. Metronet used to do this for customers pushing out virus or spam traffic.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
How do they do that, herdwick?

Remember, a lot of trackers throw out "chaff" IP's to confuse tracking systems, so an awful lot of the people accused won't have done anything wrong, and won't be able to "demonstrate" anything.

You're calling for one-strike perma-disconnection.
Posted by pigfister over 8 years ago
Innocent until proven guilty.

the media industry RIAA/MPAA (ala Sony, Disney, Fox & Co) have labour in their pockets & are changing our fundamental rights.
Posted by Ronat over 8 years ago
You must remember that most users of this site are obviously genned up on the technology,but to a large percentage of users,you could be talking in Chinese,so there are very many,especially of the older generation,who will have no idea that there is a problem,until they would find themselves cut off under the proposals.I think this is a completely draconian measure to appease Mandelson's pals in the music industry,and support TalhTalk's stance on it,whatever their reasons may be.
Posted by otester over 8 years ago
If the majority (lacking in PC knowledge) get thrown off the net, I can't see this going very well. IE: Protests etc.

For the minority that heavily downloads (moi), we will remain unaffected for a long time.
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
Lets see, if I have prove that a govt dept has used my work without paying for it, a clear breach of copyright law, can I now have the UK Govt disconnected?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Why? Sueing them would be more profitable for you.
Posted by Ronat over 8 years ago
Do you think there are many people outwith the music industry who think it is a good idea to cut people off.Therefore I can't see it being a very big vote winner.Seems a strange time to be threatening the electorate with it.
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