Canadian ISP Messes With Web Pages

Net neutrality's biggest boogeyman gets a test drive
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2007 12:27 PM CST
This screenshot shows the Rogers notification over the Google homepage. The notification could appear above any webpage, and could contain any content.   (Lauren Weinstein)
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(Newser) – Imagine for a second that your Internet provider could alter any webpage you viewed – injecting advertisements, or even censoring information. That scary scenario is possible, Ars Technica says, and the technology is already being test-driven by Rogers, a Canadian cable giant. Right now, the messages are just service notifications, but the software, developed by a marketing firm, could display anything.

Rogers says it does not interfere with web content or invade the privacy of its users, and so far no major ISP has tried the service. But net neutrality advocates say the technology’s potential alone warrants regulatory action. Like Comcast’s recent filtration and blockage of P2P traffic by its customers, it raises the specter of ISPs as supreme arbiters of what you can and can't see on the Web.