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  1. #1
    Violent
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    Post Un-capping not illegal

    Hi folks ,,,i'm kind of new here and I saw an interesting post that I would like to comment on please, if thats ok ?

    I just learned today from my lawyer that I was not going to be prosecuted by Road Runner for uncapping my modem. Yep you heard it right.

    the story goes like this :

    A few months ago I found a way to uncap my motorola cable modem. I had heard that it was impossible to do as everything was handled at the head end. Well this is true it is all handeled at the head end, however there is a hidden diagnostic mode in the motorola modem that motorola can access from on line if need be. In this diagnostic mode there is a setting that allows the motorola people to over ride any control from outside the modem - it however does this constantly in this special mode and allows proper modem functioning at the same time. Motorola accesses this mode thru a telnet type session. this session can be captured if you sniff the session with network software designed for this. this capture takes a little decoding but gives up the codes needed to turn this diagnostic mode on. I discovered this by accident when I called motorola tech support for a problem with something else. I just happened to mention to the tech that was helping me that "my other computer was on line with a cable motorola cable modem. While he was waiting for something else we had a short conversation , he asked "Hows that modem working for you, I have one too." I said It works ok I guess but...",,,he said "I can take a look at it for you if you want", I said No , I'll have to send it to you guys, besides it really belongs to the cable company." He said " Oh no, I can look at it from here. " . Of course I get this erie feeling but say ok. I have a home network and just happen to have been running some software that sniffs the network while doing some testing. So I have the sniffer running and he takes a look at the modem. Said he didn't see anything wrong. I get my other problem solved with motorola and say good by and thanks.
    A few days later I get around to looking at the sniffer logs and I see the session from motorola, Now the lightbulb in my brain comes on. I study the log for a good two hours and decide to try a few codes from it. Lo and behold - This thing now d/l's at 1.2 MB sec and uploads at 500 K sec. Previously my d/l's were averaging 500 - 800 k/s which isn't too shabby, but the u/l max was 25 k/sec which is about normal for road runner cable. So anyway I run the cable modem in this special configuration for a couple months. Come home one day to find that i've been disconnected. I call about it and am told that I was disconnected for theft of service and refered to the legal department for further information. So I call legal and am told that they plan to prosecute.

    Anyway about a week later I am served with a summons. I call my sister (she's the lawyer) and explain everything to her. Little hint here that I have learned from my sister - always tell your lawyer everything. Anyway she contacts Road Runner, they will not drop the prosecution they say because they feel that I should be made an example. I get to court. My sister makes the argument that the road runner literature that was used to sell the service , which becomes part of the contract, points out the "speeds up to..." statement as a selling point, that I bought the service, have paid the bill religiously, and was mearly excercising my rights under the original contract when I bought the Road Runner service. Road Runner and prosecutor points out that while the original selling point may have been considered part of the contract that to take something that is not clearly given in the contract is illegal and constitutes theft of service. case is continued while the judge ponders this.

    Went back to court today and got the judges decision - Ruling : Not Guilty

    Road Runner objected - prosecutor objected - Why ?

    Judge says " The defendant excercised his rights under the contract as implied by the literature used to sell the service, and the literature that sold the service became part of the contract. While the literature does not specify any certain speed it also does not specify any certain limit other than the one theoricaly possible. The defendant did nothing but attempt to utilize the full extent of the service that he was sold. This does not constitute theft. Not Guilty. the defendant is released."

    The judge then ordered Road Runner to turn the service back on. Road Runner refused, but this afternoon my service was back on when I got home after court, and i'm running again un-capped.

    End of story - happy ending

    So the moral of the story is this : If you run un-capped they will probably arrest you. But there is a way to beat it. Plain and simple I guess, Kids - dont try this at home, cause it is a big hassle.

    P.S. Forgot this part. I did get arrested when I got the summons - kinda embarrasing- had to post bail. Only time in my life that I have ever talked with a police officer other than a traffic ticket.

    [This message has been edited by Violent (edited 07-05-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Violent (edited 07-05-2000).]

  2. #2
    Lex Luthor
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    Post

    Yeah, that really sounds worth it to get a little extra bandwidth.

    Smart move.

    Lex

  3. #3
    TDBerry
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    Post

    That is a wild story. I wish I had that to tell at thanksgiving myself. I do agree the contracts are ussally a little "broad" ( thus the term broadband) I am looking forward to the future of internet speed...52" monitors 1GBps both ways 25 zigabyte HD...

  4. #4
    vegasbill
    Guest

    Wink

    That was only one Judge, a lower court ruling and I might not be so lucky. The law is based upon the PRUDENT man rule,and some judge might not feel that MY uncapping was prudent. My paperwork might not match yours.
    I am very sure their lawyers are rewritting agreements this night! Now, what happens if they appeal? Your sister bless her, will have to now lose money to defend you again. Since I guess your case was for free? I am very willing to bet they will appeal this case to a higher court.With a restrainting order relieve, asking for you to cease.
    By the way,where the cops nice to you?

    ------------------
    Let It Ride !

  5. #5
    Iceman
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    Post

    yo violent, mind letting me take a look at your sniffer log? if u dont wanna post, email to icemam16@rocketmail.com


    ------------------
    Ice--who could have thought of a better invention?

  6. #6
    fanta
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    Post

    Interesting story. Maybe it can be put up on the stories section of this site? BTW, why did you un-cap your modem? Was it for the purpose of running a server? or just because you had the "need for speed?" It would be interesting to see the sniffer logs but then again it could be a pandoras box that maybe should be best kept a secret.

  7. #7
    Moderator Bouncer's Avatar
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    Interesting story.

    I wonder how broadly it applies though. I'm curious because the RR service I have has no specific contract. It's an "at will" service. Which means I can terminate the service at any time for any or no reason. And so can they.

    I'm also curious as to why you called motorola tech support and why they didn't refer you back to RR. Finally I'm surprised that they didn't disconnect you for violation of the TOS, since most RR sites specifically prohibit use of packet sniffing software.

    I guess I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to stop serving you in the not too distant future. I also wonder how much you would've paid in legal fees for another lawyer to handle your case.

    Regards,
    -Bouncer-

    ------------------
    "Yeah Baby, YEAH!!!"


  8. #8
    jmcoreymv
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    Hey Violent, you mind if i take a look at those sniffer logs? Email me at jmcoreymv@hotmail.com

  9. #9
    Kip Patterson
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    Post

    Now, let's think about this a bit.

    1) His packet sniffer can only see data that passes through the modem. Can't see what's on the cable side. So these special codes must be passed through the modem? Addressed to what port in the TCP/IP stack? The codes that you create get passed to the modem how?

    2) Motorola modems are not capped. The flow to them is regulated by the Motorola headend.

    3) This is "Violent"'s first posting to the board.

    4) The legal department does not decide to prosecute. They file a criminal complaint and the local prosecutor decides to prosecute. Having filed a complaint, they shut up because it is a felony to use criminal charges to pursue a civil issue - this dates from the elimination of debtor's prisons.

    5) The judge waits a day to issue a decision in a theft of service case?

    6) An attorney allows this to be heard by a judge, not a jury?

    7) A judge in a criminal case issues an order for a civil remedy?

    Horsefeathers!

    Post your name and the court in which this happened, and case number, please.

    [This message has been edited by Kip Patterson (edited 07-06-2000).]

  10. #10
    wee96
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    Post

    You really expect him to post his name, Mr. 40 posts? Heh, you haven't been here all that long either, dont flame him. He's probably got a real interesting case here that we could all benefit from, or then again you could be right and he's full of mule dung.

  11. #11
    Violent
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    Post

    Yes the police were very nice - they did not even cuff me.

    Originally posted by Iceman:
    yo violent, mind letting me take a look at your sniffer log? if u dont wanna post, email to icemam16@rocketmail.com



  12. #12
    Iceman
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    Post

    LOL! Whoa that sure is one helluva typo---lol heres the real one

    iceman16@rocketmail.com

    thanks

    ------------------
    Ice--who could have thought of a better invention?

  13. #13
    Kip Patterson
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    Yes, I do expect him to post his real name. I use mine in this and every forum I visit. If he really appeared in court (He says at one point he did and was found innocent, at another point that he was not prosecuted) it is a matter of public record.

    I did not flame him, other than horsefeathers. He asserted several things not consistent with the law or with court practice. Read carefully what is said "Roadrunner objected" - how? they cannot have any standing in this case, cannot have an attorney present to object.

    500k uploads? The entire channel bandwidth is 191k for a Motorola modem.

  14. #14
    wee96
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    Post

    Got me on that one

  15. #15
    Violent
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    Post

    Mr patterson, Sir:

    1)I was sniffing my internal network configuration (router - hub -switches etc..) this is not a violation of the agreement as long as i do not sniff beyound the cable modem. Evidently you do not realize that your cable modem activity is passed thru your NIC which is part of ---come on now---right! you guessed it, your internal network! Why ? because its on the computer side of the modem. A problem with the switch - hub - router combo was the reason for the call to motorola. You are correct (and I think I stated this in my original post) that the speed is capped at the headend. but someway or another these codes allowed the modem to ignor the head end. BTW the way the speed is capped is by command from the headend to the modem, this is the reason that some u/l's will start off fast then immediately settle down to what the head end wants you to have. I do not know how these codes work, they just did.

    2) this was a criminal matter and was tried as such . In my state I can choose to waive a trial by jury which I did and can also choose to have the trial immdiately before the arraignment judge , which I did.

    3) This one is just a side not: had you done your homework you would have found out that there is still one state in which it is legal to imprison a person for debts. that state is Louisianna. Their state law is based upon the napoleonic code , not the codified code accepted by the other 49 states. Also indentured servitude is still legal in Louisianna tho it is not practiced because of the constitution.I'm not in Louisianna but I lived down there long enough to know this.

    4) Any judge in my state can issue an order to restore property to its righful owner. In effect you are renting the cable service, but state law requires the "land lord" (road runner) notify the renter before he enters the property. he does not need permission he just has to notify. Since the contract requires that Road Runner (time Warner) owns the service then in effect you are renting. They did not notify me before depriving me of items ,I had already paid for, as required by law. Also their case was without foundation because they deprived me of property without cause (constitution)because of this.

    5)As a side note here: it is not a felony to use a civil case to pursue a criminal charge. It is introduced as evidence as sworn testimony and vice versa. Case in point - OJ simpsons trial, while they did the criminal first, the opposite could have been true - depends on the state.

    6) because I had waived my right to trial by jury the court system in my state is required to wait 24 hours before rendering a decision. This is why the judge waited a day to give his decision.

    7) The case can not be appealed because there was no foundation. You need a foundation in law to appeal.

    8) in a criminal case in my state the "victims" have a right to object to rulings. The victim here was Road Runner. the original complaintant can also choose not to pursue prosecution and 99% of the time the prosecutors office goes along with it because they know that without the complaintant there is no case.

    So the long and short of it is this; under law I was deprived of my rightful property without due process (because the charge was without foundation). The only contract that is valid is the one I originally signed, The contract changes and service agreement changes that came after do not apply because I never signed them as required that I must do before they are valid under state law. As a result I mearly excercised my rights under a valid contract to use the service that I was sold to its fullest potential.

    Now, this is sort of a abridged version, I will not go into it any more but I am considering a lawsuit against them for wrongful prosecution, depriving me of my rightful property without due process (because I was renting it I have a rightful property interest), publicly humilliating me by having me arrested. Defamation of character. Two of these are criminal matters but can be tried under civil law because they involve civil right issues.

    Thanks for your response. You must work for a cable company or something. remember if you do - its not your money its theirs so why should you sweat it. Also- am I stealing something ? Nope I dont think so right now because while i did not origionally know that using these codes would uncap the thing, I will continue to use them and still do today (and they know it and dont do anything about it now because they cant - bet they will not make it public either because

    1> the asswholes could have contacted me and let me know they wre displeased. I would have stopped it in a "Good Neighbor" sort of way. But do they do this ,,,NOPE! they have to have me arrested just to set an example. Wrong way to do things regardless of what you may think.

    2> they broke the law by doing it the way they did. I am also going to contact the DA's office to find out why they pursued this matter when it was a clear violation of the law to do so.

    3> according to the contract and my states laws - I did nothing illegal. Morally I did nothing wrong because ,,,I paid for it!


  16. #16
    Criminal Master Mind ExarKun's Avatar
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    Cool

    Violent
    Fantastic job! , Im glad someone beat the system again .. its been way to long, since that has been done.

  17. #17
    flurry
    Guest

    Post

    wow
    could i please see the log too

    wk@one.true-god.org

    good job, violent

    i have motorola cybsurfr cable with 50KB/s down and 16KB/s upload caps

  18. #18
    flurry
    Guest

    Post

    my speed caps are liking having a wedding ring around your genitals

  19. #19
    Violent
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    Post

    Uhhh,,,you did not read correctly I guess.

    the whole channel bandwidth for a motorola cable modem I do not know right off, per motorolas specs for this particular modem the speed is capable of up to 27 MB/s. The speed is limited at - you guessed it- the head end. No cable company in their right mind or in their technical capacity has the equipment or technology available to give each user 27 Mb/s. bandwidth is mearly a function of how big a pipe is, it does not determine how fast you move thru the pipe. Like a 4 lane highway may be 4 lanes wide but other then traffic - the condition of your vehicle - posted speed limit -etc... is there anything that limits how fast you travel on it? bandwidth and speed are two different things. I think you are incorrect on the bandwidth limit, and i'm not even going to look it up, but even if it is 191k, it is still capable of letting the traffic pass thru it at any attainable speed unhindered that is by other objects. people always confuse bandwidth with speed, they are two different items, bandwidth defines how big something is, speed determins how fast something moves thru it. I never said I changed the bandwidth, I said that the speed increased. case in point, a 56 K isdn connection moves data slower then a 56 K frame relay setup. Same bandwidth but the speed is different - think about it.

    And no I am not going to post my real name. It is not a real wise move in this day and age. As far as you knowing the details of the what where and when, its none of your business. If you'd learn to do your homework properly, you would have already found it. It is a matter of public record. Every thing I posted is consistant with the laws in my state. Oh you studied law, well you wasted your money because you have been wrong in every assumption because one of the first things they teach you in law school is not to assume.

    Originally posted by Kip Patterson:
    Yes, I do expect him to post his real name. I use mine in this and every forum I visit. If he really appeared in court (He says at one point he did and was found innocent, at another point that he was not prosecuted) it is a matter of public record.

    I did not flame him, other than horsefeathers. He asserted several things not consistent with the law or with court practice. Read carefully what is said "Roadrunner objected" - how? they cannot have any standing in this case, cannot have an attorney present to object.

    500k uploads? The entire channel bandwidth is 191k for a Motorola modem.


    [This message has been edited by Violent (edited 07-06-2000).]

  20. #20
    mithraug
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    Post

    Well, since everyone else is asking I figured I might as well also. Could you send me a copy of those logs as well. My ICQ number is 66460285.

    I am using the Motorola Cybersurfer on AT&T@home in CA. I am thoroughly sick of that stupid upload cap. Especially since it means when the U/L is at max, the D/L is at minimum. Thanks a lot.

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