Jul 24 2009 @stuartflatt

Hull based, UK ISP (internet Service Provider) Karoo has taken a new, tough stance by dis-connecting suspected illegal file sharers without warning. Customers can have their service restored by signing a decleration promising not to repeat the offense.

This new move has been supported by the music and film industry, many technology insiders have deemed the move ‘unfair’ and ‘harsh’. Karoo however maintains it’s stance is the “the responsible approach”.

Karoo do not actively look for illegal file sharer’s, however once they have been notified that copyrighted media is being shared without permission, they notify the said user by cutting them off from the outside world.

Compared to other ISPs in the UK, this direct action against illegal file-sharing is surprisingly severe.

For many years, the music industry has called for a “three strikes” rule – with disconnection as a final option after formal warnings. However this has been fought by users and ISP’s alike. Which mankes Karoo’s move even more surprising.

Andrea Robinson, a Karoo customer from Willoughby, told the BBC Tech Website that she was cut off without warning on Tuesday; her account advised her that her password had expired.

On Thursday she received a letter from the firm, claiming that she had been using the peer-to-peer file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the film Terminator Salvation.

On calling Karoo, she was told to pay a visit to resolve the issue.

“They gave me a form to sign to get reconnected,” she told the BBC.

“The form basically said ‘if I admit my guilt you’ll reconnect me’. So I didn’t sign it and walked out. I’m still not reconnected.”

‘Totally unfair’ – I agree, that film is not even worth eating into your download caps, let alone being suspended!

“It’s totally unfair to disconnect people without giving them any warning at all. In fact, disconnection is something that should only even possibly be considered as a result of court action.” said Jim Killock, executive director of the digital rights activists The Open Rights Group.

Kingston Communications is the primary supplier of telecommunications and data services in the City of Hull.

British Telecoms has no lines in the area, and with no other choice of ISP, the residents of Hull often have no choice but to use Karoo if they want an internet connection.

Original story for the BBC.

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