The dangers of oligopolies. More than anything else the internet needs is trust busters.
A lobby group that represents AT&T, Verizon, and other telcos plans to sue states and cities that try to enforce net neutrality rules.
USTelecom, the lobby group, made its intentions clear yesterday in a blog post titled, “All Americans Deserve Equal Rights Online.”
Yeah – All Americans == all their fellow oligopolists
“Broadband providers have worked hard over the past 20 years to deploy ever more sophisticated, faster and higher-capacity networks, and uphold net neutrality protections for all,” USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter wrote. “To continue this important work, there is no question we will aggressively challenge state or municipal attempts to fracture the federal regulatory structure that made all this progress possible.”
The USTelecom board of directors includes AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, Windstream, and other telcos. The group’s membership “ranges from the nation’s largest telecom companies to small rural cooperatives.”
The attorney general of Washington has filed a new amended complaint in an ongoing lawsuit against Comcast, claiming that “new evidence” reveals “even more deceptive conduct than previously alleged.”
The lawsuit, which was initially submitted in August 2016, alleged that hundreds of thousands of Washington residents were “deceived” into paying “at least $73 million in subscription fees over the last five years for a near-worthless ‘protection plan.’”
According to the amended complaint, which was filed in King County Superior Court on Thursday, newly obtained recorded calls between Comcast and its Washington customers who subscribed to its “Service Protection Plan” show “that Comcast may have signed up more than half of all SPP subscribers without their consent. Comcast deceived consumers even when mentioning the SPP, telling them the SPP plan was ‘free’ when they signed up, when in fact, Comcast would automatically charge them every month after the first month.”
This what happens in monopolies and oligopolies. Unfortunately, senior executives will never go to jail and business will be as usual. That is because of the very corrupt lobbyist ridden culture in the states and in Washington. Is it time for citizens to deliver justice to those guilty directly? Perhaps. But that assumes they will involved and get organized to form the type of organizations capable of effecting real change. Given the fact the civic understanding and participation is poor in the U.S., I doubt things will change. But enough is enough, to is time to get involved.
If you trust your ISP to provide Network and Physical Security, you have a fool for an adviser
Some intruders no longer need to come in through the kitchen window. Instead, they can waltz right in through the front door, even when a home is protected by an internet-connected alarm system. A vulnerability in Comcast’s Xfinity Home Security System could allow attackers to open protected doors and windows without triggering alarms, researchers with cybersecurity firm Rapid7 wrote in a blog post today.
The security bug relates back to the way in which the system’s sensors communicate with their home base station. Comcast’s system uses the popular ZigBee protocol, but doesn’t maintain the proper checks and balances, allowing a given sensor to go minutes or even hours without checking in. The biggest hurdle in exploiting the vulnerability is finding or building a radio jammer, which are illegal under federal law. Attackers can also circumvent alarms with a software-based de-authentication attack on the ZigBee protocol itself, although that method requires more expertise. Attackers would also need to know a house was using the Xfinity system before attempting to break in, a major hurdle in exploiting the finding.
“The sensor had no memory of the break-in happening”
To prove his findings, Rapid7 researcher Phil Bosco simulated a radio jamming attack on one of his system’s armed window sensors. While jamming the sensor’s signal, he opened a monitored window. The sensor said it was armed, but it failed to detect anything out of the ordinary. But perhaps even more worrisome than the active intrusion itself is that the sensor had no memory of it happening and took anywhere from several minutes to three hours to come back online and reestablish communication with its home base.