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CenturyLink Blocked Its Customers' Internet Access in Order To Show an Ad


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CenturyLink briefly disabled the Internet connections of customers in Utah last week and allowed them back online only after they acknowledged an offer to purchase filtering software. From a report:
CenturyLink falsely claimed that it was required to do so by a Utah state law that says ISPs must notify customers "of the ability to block material harmful to minors." In fact, the new law requires only that ISPs notify customers of their filtering software options "in a conspicuous manner"; it does not say that the ISPs must disable Internet access until consumers acknowledge the notification. The law even says that ISPs may make the notification "with a consumer's bill," which shouldn't disable anyone's Internet access. 

Coincidentally, CenturyLink's blocking of customer Internet access occurred days before the one-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission repeal of net neutrality rules, which prohibited blocking and throttling of Internet access. "Just had CenturyLink block my Internet and then inject this page into my browser... to advertise their paid filtering software to me," software engineer and Utah resident Rich Snapp tweeted on December 9. "Clicking OK on the notice then restored my Internet... this is NOT okay!"

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