ISPs and your privacy

Comcast is providing their customers with a free modem upgade to take advantage of their higher speed services.  I just received the new modem kit and am getting ready to install it.  I think it’s telling that installation instructions (largely illustrations) consists of four pages including the cover.  The privacy notice they sent is 9 nearly marginless pages of fine print legalese followed by a 26-page residential services “agreement”.

When it comes to government invasions of privacy, I don’t think Comcast would be any more likely than AT&T and Verizon to push back.  Telecom companies are too dependent on government contracts, favors, and collusion to make waves.   As they readily proved during the Bush administration, they will be more than willing to piss on the Constitution at the government’s bequest.  Now that immunity from prosecution is part of the law, what few worries they might have had have been completely neutralized.

[Update]   I now have the new modem up and running.  Encryption is being proposed as the only effective remedy for Big Brother’s interception of all of our private communications.  In response to that, it is expected that endpoint access is only way the government could defeat encryption, by accessing data on your computer before encryption or after decryption.  Since the modem connects directly to your computer or home network, it would be a logical point for the NSA to institute endpoint access technology.  That the NSA would partner with ISPs, equipment manufacturers, and operating system suppliers to pursue this route is pure speculation. But, I did point my modem toward the wall just in case there is a video camera installed in it…