Friday, April 5, 2013

An Update on CMA Communications' Ad Injection Practices

Part of the new "Acceptable Use Policy" of CMA Communications - Added April 4, 2013


Thanks to the intelligent and rational nature of Redditors, the post which detailed CMA Communications' injection of advertisements into their paying customer's HTTP requests received quite a bit of attention. I'd like to provide you with an update on what has occurred since then:


1. I've contacted several of the media outlets suggested, only one has responded and they seem to have backed out of running the story. (Update 4/7/2013: ArsTechnica is now running an article about the injections: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/how-a-banner-ad-for-hs-ok).


2. I've contacted a few major companies which have affected websites, but none have responded. 


3. The FCC has responded that this is not something they can help with.


4. A complaint with the FTC has been submitted, but they note that they do not act on individual consumer complaints.


5. On April 4, CMA Communications updated their "Acceptable Use Policy" to include a new section which covers their injection practices. It is here: http://www.cmaaccess.com/Internet/acceptable-use-policy/ (Section 10). In my opinion it is a frightening read and I'd encourage you to take a look.


Overall, no progress has been made towards changing the questionable practices of this ISP. Being just one person with no ties to journalists or the major companies affected, I seem to have exhausted all of my avenues. So I'm asking for your help in this.

If you have ties with anyone who might be able to assist with this situation, the many customers of CMA Communications would be very appreciative of anything they could do. I am happy to provide answers to any questions, as well as evidence of the injection practices. Feel free to contact me using my gmail email address, which is zhenkel.

The one thing I would like to emphasize is that in many of the areas served by CMA Communications, they are likely to be the only broadband provider. This means customers would need to revert to dialup internet to make a point, which is a difficult choice to make for many.

TO Redditors:
In the spirit of good Reddiquette, I'd like to assure you that I have been a regular member of the community for a little over a year now. Unfortunately, I did not want my username linked to my real world identity, so I created a new account to submit this story. I would like to assure you that this is my last submission of this nature, and I am not looking to use the community as my soapbox. Thank you all for bringing your expertise and suggestions to this issue.

5 comments:

  1. The one thing I would like to emphasize is that in many of the areas served by CMA Communications, they are likely to be the only broadband provider.

    Indeed! So why not contact the municipality that granted the monopoly? Or the Citizens Utility Board?

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I was you I consider a petition with Avaaz -> http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/

    It's Free & it's very effective if you have some leverage... Also in conjonction a FB page dcould not hurt to inform peoples about those practices.

    It can be targeted not just to your ISP but to all ISP to let them know that we don't want man in the middle !

    Good Luck

    Mikhoul
    Canada

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have to ask, What gives them the right to change the terms of use without letting current customers opt out or react? Isn't that illegal?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Get a VPN. Shouldn't be able to do this to encrypted, tunneled traffic. Here is all the relivant data I found on Arin

    Customer
    Name CMA Communications
    Handle C02666501
    Street 175 CR 339

    City Angelton
    State/Province TX
    Postal Code 77515
    Country US
    Registration Date 2010-12-30
    Last Updated 2011-03-19
    Comments
    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/customer/C02666501
    Network Resources
    PHONOSCOPE-66-249-102-48 (NET-66-249-102-48-1) 66.249.102.48 - 66.249.102.55

    See Also Upstream network's resource POC records.
    See Also Upstream organization's POC records.

    Customer
    Name CMA Communications
    Handle C01613972
    Street One Galleria Tower
    21st Floor

    City Dallas
    State/Province TX
    Postal Code 75240
    Country US
    Registration Date 2007-04-10
    Last Updated 2011-03-19
    Comments
    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/customer/C01613972
    Network Resources
    CMA-CLEVELAND (NET-24-224-40-0-1) 24.224.40.0 - 24.224.40.255

    See Also Upstream network's resource POC records.
    See Also Upstream organization's POC records.

    Network
    NetRange 66.249.102.48 - 66.249.102.55
    CIDR 66.249.102.48/29

    Name PHONOSCOPE-66-249-102-48
    Handle NET-66-249-102-48-1
    Parent PHONOSCOPE-NET-06 (NET-66-249-96-0-1)
    Net Type Reassigned
    Origin AS AS22442
    Customer CMA Communications (C02666501)
    Registration Date 2010-12-30
    Last Updated 2010-12-30
    Comments For abuse issues contact abuse@phonoscope.com

    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-66-249-102-48-1
    See Also Upstream network's resource POC records.
    See Also Upstream organization's POC records.
    See Also Related delegations.

    Network
    NetRange 24.224.40.0 - 24.224.40.255
    CIDR 24.224.40.0/24

    Name CMA-CLEVELAND
    Handle NET-24-224-40-0-1
    Parent CMAACCESS01 (NET-24-224-32-0-1)
    Net Type Reassigned
    Origin AS
    Customer CMA Communications (C01613972)
    Registration Date 2007-04-10
    Last Updated 2007-04-10
    Comments
    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-24-224-40-0-1
    See Also Upstream network's resource POC records.
    See Also Upstream organization's POC records.
    See Also Related delegations.








    Aaaannnddd.... Their service provider.

    Network
    NetRange 66.147.240.0 - 66.147.255.255
    CIDR 66.147.240.0/20

    Name UNIFIEDLAYER-NETWORK-4
    Handle NET-66-147-240-0-1
    Parent NET66 (NET-66-0-0-0-0)
    Net Type Direct Allocation
    Origin AS AS46606
    Organization Unified Layer (BLUEH-2)
    Registration Date 2008-05-05
    Last Updated 2012-11-14
    Comments
    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-66-147-240-0-1
    Function Point of Contact
    NOC TECHN497-ARIN (TECHN497-ARIN)
    Tech NETWO2081-ARIN (NETWO2081-ARIN)
    Abuse NOC2320-ARIN (NOC2320-ARIN)

    See Also Related organization's POC records.
    See Also Related delegations.

    Organization
    Name Unified Layer
    Handle BLUEH-2
    Street 1958 South 950 East

    City Provo
    State/Province UT
    Postal Code 84606
    Country US
    Registration Date 2006-08-08
    Last Updated 2012-11-26
    Comments
    RESTful Link http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/BLUEH-2
    Referral Server rwhois://rwhois.unifiedlayer.com:4321
    See Also Related networks.
    See Also Related autonomous system numbers.
    See Also Related POC records.


    Maybe you could talk to unifiedlayer.com about their questionable client.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We must exercise our rights according the Consumer Act of our country. Now that Internet Connection is highly monopolised, we should react and request all available internet companies that will give us better service than the present.

    ReplyDelete