‘How a Banner Ad for H&R Block Appeared on apple.com’

Nate Anderson, reporting an CMA (a local ISP):

“Wow, this is really wrong and crazy,” Henkel told me, since it suggested that companies felt free to operate as a “man in the middle,” one free to inject code of their own choosing into webpage requests that were—so users believed—simply between themselves and the websites they were trying to reach.

Basically the ISP was re-routing traffic to append some scripts to each website so that ads, their ads, would be shown on every webpage. Incredible.

This smells like a lawsuit waiting to happen:

And it turned out that the R66T code didn’t just add banner ads to sites that had none; it even overwrote its own ads onto high profile sites like the Huffington Post, which had plenty of ads of their own.

Now, R66T, also has a great “feature” that they market:

One of their product pitches, for instance, describes a hotel Wi-Fi system that creates an “ever-present toolbar or frame around the page that can display relevant content and information” and can handle “insertion of property related ads and promotional messages, as well as blacklisting competitors’ ads throughout the entire Web session.” A further item says that property managers can “feel secure in knowing that your competitors are not able to poach your customers while they are at your property.”

Both companies have been vague in responding to this, but CMA seems to have stopped using R66T to inject ads. However both companies seem to have updated policies in an ass-covering move that likely won’t cover their ass.

When an ISP pulls shit like this, they should be shut down — plain and simple.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
1 minute to read.


tl;dr

Nate Anderson, reporting an CMA (a local ISP): “Wow, this is really wrong and crazy,” Henkel told me, since it suggested that companies felt free to operate as a “man in the middle,” one free to inject code of their own choosing into webpage requests that were—so users believed—simply between themselves and the websites they […]