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ISP: Infringe Copyrights, Lose Remote Access to Your Thermostat


ISP: Infringe Copyrights, Lose Remote Access to Your Thermostat

Armstrong Zoom Internet is taking a new approach to its "don't download illegal things" warnings by noting that users may lose the ability to adjust their thermostats from afar if they're caught.

Doing a bit of BitTorrenting for the holidays? We hope you're downloading legal content—and that you don't live in the Northeastern portion of the United States—or else you might be in for a colder winter if you're caught pirating the latest Star Wars movie.

A warning letter from internet service provider Armstrong Zoom Internet, obtained by TorrentFreak, comes with some peculiar provisions. First, there's the standard, "you're in for it if we catch you pirating content" warning: "In accordance with the Terms and Conditions, Armstrong's copyright infringement policy, and federal law, please be advised that, if Armstrong receives additional notifications of infringement connected with your Zoom Internet Service, Armstrong will remove you from your current internet service level and place you at the lowest service level."

Standard, right? What might open your eyes a bit—and possibly even get you to uninstall your preferred BitTorrent client—is what can happen if you get bounced to Armstrong Zoom Internet's lowest speed tier. As the letter notes, "Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.

You can get around this issue by walking over to your thermostat and adjusting it, or by using your home wireless network—for example—to set temperatures or turn the thermostat on and off.

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If you're the kind of person who likes having manual control over your smart home gadgets, however, you won't be able to kick on your heating from afar before you start your commute home. You'll just have to suffer a chilly house or apartment for a little bit.

And as the second half of the threat notes, it'll be tough to check in on any connected cameras you might have around your house if your ISP bumps your Internet speeds down to, say, dial-up. That will definitely impact their functionality, so you might want to tread lightly with the copyright infringement if you're on Armstrong Zoom Internet—at least, if you want to be able to watch your DogCam while you're at work.

To get back into the ISP's good graces, those accused of copyright infringement have to acknowledge that they received a copy of the Armstrong Zoom Internet's terms and conditions and answer a few educational questions about copyright infringement. Additional DMCA notices can result in suspension of service.

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