Monday, July 02, 2007

ISPs add advertising to customers' web services

When you view content online you don't pay a subscription for, it has to be paid for somehow - the money you pay for your DSL or cable subscription doesn't go to the people who created it.  Web ads are a fact of life, which some people get around using Adblock or other utilities.  But what if you were reading a subscription site promising ad-free content, and suddenly you notice that there are ads appearing.  If you assumed that the content provider was trying to make money both ways you might be wrong.

My daily UserFriendly.org cartoon alerted me to a story (also covered by Slashdot) that Internet Service Providers (such as Redmoon/MoonOverAddison) are starting to use transparent web proxies and ad agencies like Fair Eagle to add advertising to content without the knowledge of the website you are accessing, despite the fact that you are already paying the ISP a fee to access the internet.  

This is yet another reason why Net Neutrality is important - to allow consumers to access services without hindrance from or now adulteration by internet providers.  I hope Redmoon pay a heavy price in cancellations and lawsuits sufficient to scare the bigger players into staying away from slimy business practices of this sort.
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