Calling telecom gearheads..!

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beergears

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I was at a cousin's place and using his home DSL service for web access.
(OK, actually I was hanging off the neighor's open wifi, probably running on [large telcom co] DSL)

Playing around I installed and made a Skype call.

Odd: Later, I googled something using "Skype" as keyword and the google results page was apparently doctored with a [large telcom co,] logo at the top.

I did not make much of it at the time... but could it be that some "filtering" occurred?

In other words, provider [large telcom co,] could be watching specific web searches and try to dissuade users of competing services..??
 

Homercidal

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They could be using google to basically advertise their services when they look for alternatives. Nothing illegal about it. Plus, many phone companies are offering VOIP services too.
 

rsmith179

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Probably just a targeted Google ad. Are the links on Google still redirecting as they should, or are you being taken other places besides the link you clicking on? If that's the case, could be that you have some Spyware or Malware on your PC that has hijacked IE.
 
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beergears

beergears

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OK, I buy targeted ads. But it sure looked quite different than the typical google return page. I should have taken a screenshot!

I did not go any further, as I did not want to create disruptions on my host's service .Can [large telco co., starts with a V] prevent you from, or 'punish" you for using Skype..?
I think Comcast was attempting to do some selective bandwith manipulation but was told not to do so.

The PC in question was a PowerBook running Firefox, Not easy a target as Windows/IE
 

yermej

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OK, I buy targeted ads. But it sure looked quite different than the typical google return page. I should have taken a screenshot!
How did you start the Google search? Did you go to Google or just type the search term in the address bar? Many ISPs have implemented a "service" whereby DNS lookup failures are redirected to a search/ad page. If you typed the term into the address bar, then you were probably seeing Verizon's helpful page.

(Side note, some ISPs (e.g. Charter) let you opt-out of this "service", but not really. With Charter, after opting out I get a mostly accurate copy of the IE DNS error page, but I use FireFox.)

I think there are also some ISPs experimenting with injecting ads into HTTP. So, you request a website and the ISP inserts ads before sending the result to you. I don't know if Verizon is doing that though and it doesn't really sound like that's what you saw.

I did not go any further, as I did not want to create disruptions on my host's service .Can [large telco co., starts with a V] prevent you from, or 'punish" you for using Skype..?
I think Comcast was attempting to do some selective bandwith manipulation but was told not to do so.
I doubt they would punish you for using Skype, though there are plenty of conspiracy theorists who suspect that traffic shaping is used to make services like Skype relatively useless. I don't know that there's any truth to that - most evidence is anecdotal and just as likely due to other network issues. Routing your VOIP traffic over the Internet will not always be reliable.
 

craigd

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Actually some can and have filtered competing VOIP products. Comcast was recently sued for doing just that. The shaping is harder to prove and I'm not certain about the injecting of ads in Google search though.
 

MNBugeater

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I doubt they would punish you for using Skype, though there are plenty of conspiracy theorists who suspect that traffic shaping is used to make services like Skype relatively useless. I don't know that there's any truth to that - most evidence is anecdotal and just as likely due to other network issues. Routing your VOIP traffic over the Internet will not always be reliable.
Actually some can and have filtered competing VOIP products. Comcast was recently sued for doing just that. The shaping is harder to prove and I'm not certain about the injecting of ads in Google search though.
Filtering the service entirely is why Comcast got in trouble. But "shaping" as you put it, more commonly referred to as Quality of Service (QoS) routing, is perfectly legal and in fact done often. Most business networks worth their salt use QoS routing to 'prioritize' traffic on their networks. Usually voice (VoIP) is a top priority. ISP will do just the opposite. They typically route any streaming data lower in their queue. Voice sometimes falls into this category. Unless of course they are delivering that service within a Service Level Agreement in which case they have to meet throughput standards.
 
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beergears

beergears

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They know, they totally know! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

Actually, this brings up the question...can providers (a DSL one in this case) monitor the MAC addresses or the number / kind of of entities hanging off your access point? You would think not but...?
I know it used to be a big deal, net access was only granted for ONE machine, in the day.

Note that my 'host" would not let me in after the Skype adventure, even though it is still an open access point, as far as I can see...
 

k1v1116

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I think a NAT router makes your network appear as one computer and thats all the ISP can see.
 
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beergears

beergears

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you mistyped skype

Is this what you saw?

sckype.com
No,
It was a legit. google page, with reasonable returns, but with a very unusual-looking custom banner.

I just did a google search for "Skype' and the top of page has a Google banner space with a search box, On my "problem" page the Google graphical stuff was not there, and instead was [big telco co] logo with some small text
 

craigd

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But "shaping" as you put it, more commonly referred to as Quality of Service (QoS) routing, is perfectly legal and in fact done often. Most business networks worth their salt use QoS routing to 'prioritize' traffic on their networks.
Legal thus far, yes. There is much debate about the ethics of doing so and especially when doing so without notifying customers that you are doing it. There is in my opinion a large difference between "business networks" and internet access (though these days the 2 often cross packets.) The topic of net neutrality has just not made it to a ruling yet that has broad applicability and so far congress has largely stayed out of the fray.

It's definitely a topic with 2 very valid viewpoints though and I haven't taken a side in the battle but probably lean toward neutrality. I was just pointing out that the OPs traffic could indeed be either blocked or delayed to the point of unusable.
 

Tenchiro

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Actually, this brings up the question...can providers (a DSL one in this case) monitor the MAC addresses or the number / kind of of entities hanging off your access point? You would think not but...?
I know it used to be a big deal, net access was only granted for ONE machine, in the day.

Note that my 'host" would not let me in after the Skype adventure, even though it is still an open access point, as far as I can see...
I work for a large ISP, we can see any device plugged into a cable modem but we have no visibility behind that. As far as we are concerned anything on a private network is their business unless of course they are breaking the TOS or doing something illegal. Otherwise we assume that any devices on that network are supposed to be there.

Although we are trying to get people to secure their access points when we find one that is open and not part of a business that has WiFi for their customers.
 

Tenchiro

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No,
It was a legit. google page, with reasonable returns, but with a very unusual-looking custom banner.

I just did a google search for "Skype' and the top of page has a Google banner space with a search box, On my "problem" page the Google graphical stuff was not there, and instead was [big telco co] logo with some small text
I know with our DHCP service if you enter an incorrect address we will give a branded landing page in the event of a DNS error. I can imagin how a gogole search result could be branded by the ISP as well if you are using their DNS still.
 
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