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Qwest Suspends Grandma's Internet Connection

Cathi "Cat" Paradiso, a 53-year-old grandmother from Pueblo, Colorado, was accused of illegally downloading 18 films and TV shows, including "Zombieland," "Harry Potter," and "South Park."

A representative from Qwest phoned Paradiso informing her of the alleged Hollywood copyright infringement, which lead to a suspension of her internet service. Paradiso was told that if she was accused to illegal activity one more time, Qwest would have to terminate her account and that other ISPs in the area would learn of her name, making it hard to sign up for new internet service.

The interesting fact underlying the entire incident is that Paradiso did not commit any of the activity that she was accused of. Yes, she was an internet user as she works from home as a technical recruiter; but she maintains that she did not download a single movie.

"Take me off your hit list," Paradiso wrote in a January 15 e-mail plea to some of the studios who had accused her, as quoted by CNet. "I have never downloaded a movie. Period... You'll need to admit you made a mistake and move on to the correct perpetrator... I am saying this once more: My computer is not a toy. My livelihood depends on my ISP's reliability. Look for the perpetrator and leave my service alone."

CNet made inquiries into Paradiso's case, which led Qwest to dig deeper. A technician last week discovered that Paradiso's network was compromised, which absolves her of the downloading activity. Of course, the question remains whether the one employing internet service is responsible for the type of activity that happens on the account.

  • tenor77
    The MPAA witch hunt continues. Now persecuting old women and children!
  • burnley14
    It seems the accusation was not totally inaccurate in this case. Grandma just needs someone to put some security on her network.

    On another note, it seems a tad unlikely to me that Grandma knew the acronym "ISP" but didn't think that securing her network was important.
  • kyeana
    burnley14It seems the accusation was not totally inaccurate in this case. Grandma just needs someone to put some security on her network.On another note, it seems a tad unlikely to me that Grandma knew the acronym "ISP" but didn't think that securing her network was important.
    Who said her network wasn't "secure"? Just because you have a password on it doesn't mean it's impossible to break into it.
  • thedreadfather
    I think "Grandma" is a bit misleading here. True, she is a grandmother, but "Grandma" typically implies your stereotypical eighty-five year-old lady; this woman is only fifty-three. So, no, its not unlikely that a fifty-three year-old female 'technical recruiter' knows what an ISP is. Just because her network was "compromised" doesn't mean it was "unsecured".
  • Pailin
    I still think it was hilarious that some of the big record labels got sued by a bunch of artists for copyright infringement to a sum of about $16million they illegally made from follow up compilations without the artists consent. Of course when the individual artists complained, they were told where to go...

    and then the great American Legal system turned on the Music industry LOL
  • Boxa786
    Supergranny 1
    ISP -

    Nice one :D
  • amdchuck
    well just to play devils advocate here...if her livelihood depends on internet connectivity, perhaps she should do a little more to secure it.

    It is part of every ISP's T.O.S. that you are liable for all activity on your connection and therefore should take steps to secure your network. It's "networks" like hers that allow malware, virus', D.O.S. attacks etc. to exist...not to mention movie stealing freeloaders piggybacking her connection.

    a freakin cheapo router and freebie firewall configured properly would have prevented this whole situation fer' chrisakes'

    plus, they would still be freeloading off her connection stealing movies if Qwest had not acted so you know what? Good for them. Pirates can walk the plank for all I care.
  • People should protect their networks, and most people do, but protected and secure are two different things, people used to think that FTP was protected because of passwords, but thazt doesn't mean it's secure.

    As for the question of someone breaking into your network, and using it for illegal activity, then you getting blamed for it, to me, it seems to be akin to a guy running into a bar and shooting 3 people. Nobody in this situation would blame the manager, people would blame the perp. But at the same time, it would be expected that the manager take steps (eg, installing more cameras, perhaps a security guard on busy occasions) to help prevent it from happening again. The one problem with this analogy is that IT is so much more complex, it is entierly possible for someone to break into a network and leave barely a trace for a normal user to pickup.
  • ordos96
    Regardless of Guilt this shows a few things; First is that they don't have any good ways to track who is downloading what, and secondly, you can simply download whaterever you want as long as you have a compromised internet connection and claim you didn't do it. As by law she is innocent until proven guilty, but this is just a waste of time for everyone involved it seems.
  • captaincharisma
    grandma? i figured she would still be using dial-up or anything for the internet at all.