I'm not "interactive" in nature...?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I got an email from my ISP. Seems that they have been monitoring my (and probably others) useage. Here's some of the message I got:

Dear My ISP subscriber,

Your recent usage pattern over the past several days shows an indication of internet use that is not "interactive" in nature. Please note that "interactive use" is clearly defined in the "Online and Miscellaneous Policies" section of My ISP's "Access Services Agreement". This Agreement may be found on My ISP's home page. The specific URL is

<a href="http://www.My"; target="_blank">http://www.My</a>; ISP.com/access.html. Non-interactive use includes, but is not limited to: unattended downloads, unattended email clients, unattended "instant messenger" clients and the like.

Pursuant to paragraph I.2. of My ISP's Online and Miscellaneous Policies, should your usage continue to show the same pattern, My ISP will follow the procedure set forth therein and temporarily remove your account from the active authentication database for a period of time. For those customers who require or desire non-interactive internet use, My ISP offers a variety of services tailored to meet this and the many other different demands of our subscribers. Therefore if you need

access to the internet on a non-interactive basis, please contact My ISP sales at 555-555-5555 to inquire about these alternative services. Should your lifestyle be such that you are interactive for extended periods of time despite a pattern that indicates otherwise, you are requested to contact us via email at [email protected] ISP.com with the words "Interactive use" as the subject. In this email, you should present us with as much information as possible to substantiate that your use is in fact "interactive" despite a pattern to the contrary. Each email will be carefully review to determine whether or not there is compliance in accord with the My ISP's Access Services Agreement.

<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> What happened to "ulimited access"? I have been known (as many others here probably) to leave a connection open while doing work or just to have my email open for messages coming in. Done this for years. Sure, maybe I'll get diconnected...no problem. I certainly don't like the fact that they monitor their users either.

It says in their Agreement that:


1. Use of the on-line Services by non-dedicated access Customers must be

"interactive." For all purposes of these On-line Policies and the Services Agreement, the Customer agrees and understands that "interactive" means that, (1) the Customer must be physically present in front of the computer or terminal; and, (2) the Customer must, at least once every 20 minutes, enter a command by direct physical contact with the computer keyboard or mouse.

That sounds to me like monitoring my actions and maybe even where I am online. Paranoia? Whatever. Something tells me that if I wanted to keep doing what I have usually done ("interactive") I will of course have to pay for it. But this irks me... <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />


  • Reply 1 of 6
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Get mad, get even, then get a new suscriber. Do you have a community page? Start a petition. Rant about it non stop in your chat, spread the word that you're being spied on. WTF do they care if your use is 'interactive' or not? You presumably pay for bandwidth. After creating a stir, you should (if you're on a monthly pay scale) promptly cancel your service. Give them full explanations as to why you're cancelling it, and make sure that they understand that you'll scream to high heaven for as long as you live, and to anyone who'll listen, that you think their service sucks and that you will counsel anyone considering internet service explicitly against their service.

    Who are they? Why not start here?
  • Reply 2 of 6
    The ironic thing is that their service has gotten much better. I used to get disconnected a lot in the earlier years, (been with this ISP for over 6 years) especially on my first Mac.

    Now I get faster connections and not as many disruptions as before.

    Now this. I will probably do something. But not here. I'll let you all know the outcome if I pursue it. Right now I have to get a job first.

    Keep the comments and suggestions coming though...has anyone gotten something like this from other ISPs?

    The one description of non interactive use that irks me is the "unattended downloads"...Uh, what am i supposed to do when I'm downloading a 20 MB OS X update file...surf the web send and recieve emails and click on links? <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
  • Reply 3 of 6
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Get a new ISP. If they're harassing you for downloading files and the like because it's not "interactive", tell them to back off or you're gone. Also mention the words "bad publicity" in there somewhere, and you should get their attention. That note you outlined is ridiculous.

    "Whatever happened to 'unlimited access'" indeed!

  • Reply 4 of 6
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    What's the ISP, I'm sure you're not the only person using it and that there are others who would appreciate a warning. I know I would. So, who the hell are we complaining about?
  • Reply 5 of 6
    <a href="http://www.voicenet.com"; target="_blank">http://www.voicenet.com</a>;

    I checked Earthlink's policy and they have something of the policy, though much more broader:

    "n. Long Connections and Multiple Logins. Using a personal account for high volume or commercial use is prohibited. The Services are intended for periodic, active use of email, newsgroups, file transfers, Internet chat, games, and browsing the World Wide Web. Members may stay connected so long as they are actively using that connection for the above purposes. Members may not use the Services on a standby or inactive basis in order to maintain a connection. Pinging is expressly prohibited. Accordingly, EarthLink maintains the right to terminate any member's connection following any extended period of inactivity as determined by EarthLink."

    But I will handle this myself. It's important for me right now to keep them until my life gets more stable. I will contact them this week by phone and get a clearer answer to all this.

    Well, I have to take a shower...I got the neighbor's cat to click the mouse while I'm gone... <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 6 of 6
    This is why I love broadband. You always connected no matter what, that means that you constantly in "active use".

    Follow Matsus advice, rant about it everywhere, set up a petition about their monitoring you, make a big commotion and promptly cancel your account, making sure that htey know why. Make sure they know that you gonna warn people about this and their policies regarding "inactive use"

    Also, there should not be a way that they can monitor inactive use unless your not sending OUT any data. If they know that your not activley inputing keyboard commands (it says in their rule list that its ok to leave something downloading as long as your at your computer) that measn that they have some NASTY spyware in there.

    Also beware Earthlink if your not in the states. In canada we were signed up for them and then after a few months they started charging us something like 10c a minute.
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