updated 04:25 pm EST, Wed December 12, 2007
Reaction to Rogers hijacks
Two major parties are criticizing Rogers over its experimental messaging system, a Canadian newspaper reports. The company acknowledged this week that it has been inserting its own messages into third-party websites, in a bid to warn customers nearing their maximum download limits; this has generated criticism from a number of sources, among them being Google, which is now expressing disappointment with Rogers' practices. "We are concerned about these reports," a company representative says. "As a general principle, we believe that maintaining the Internet as a neutral platform means that carriers shouldn't be able to interfere with Web content without users' permission."
This view is echoed by Philippa Lawson, executive director of the private Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. "It's a very slippery slope," she claims, noting that if Rogers' actions are tolerated, they may set a precedent by which Internet service providers can dictate what people do online.
Rogers communications VP Taanta Gupta continues to defend the messaging system, arguing that it is no more insidious than the texts sent to cellphone owners about to exceed their monthly minutes. In some cases, she notes, customers do not necessarily have e-mail addresses listed, and so a more reliable contact method is needed. [via The Toronto Star]