Why doesn't AT&T simply disable illegal tethering?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by Sparky9292, May 6, 2011.

  1. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    One thing that bugs me about the illegal tethering situation:

    If AT&T knows who is illegally tethering, why do they allow it to happen? Why not simply prevent tethering packets from reaching the Internet?

    AT&T obviously can differentiate between data to the YouTube app and data through MyWi because they meter legal tethering to 4Gb limit.

    Is it just a big tease? And why not simply back charge everyone who used MyWi/PdaNet in the past?

    When I talked to the AT&T rep, she said I had tethered illegally. But she could not tell me the specific times I had tethered. Lame.
     
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #2
    I would you want AT&T to put this Orwellian rule into effect? At least tell me you're a shareholder...
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    Because they are using the illegal tethering issue to force people off grandfathered unlimited data plans. And to collect the legal tethering fees. You just put a block on there and they've got no leverage.
     
  4. gnasher729, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    AT&T would want a "solution" that is legal and makes them money. The best outcome for them if someone is tethering without permission is to telll the person, who then changes to a plan that allows tethering, paying money every month. If it works that way, perfect for AT&T: It is legal, and it makes money.

    Backcharging would be a _huge_ legal problem. There is no contract that allows them to charge for tethering. They would have to take people to court. Which is expensive and really pisses them off, so they wouldn't be customers in the future. AT&T would rather you pay for phone and tethering for the next ten years, rather than backcharging you for the last year and losing you.

    Preventing tethering is difficult as well. Right now they might know enough to send you a letter, and if you get one of those without ever having tethered you just tell them. Their recognition doesn't need to be perfect. If they try to cut tethering off, they have to be one hundred percent sure (not 99.999% sure) that they don't cut off anything that isn't tethering. Again, they will lose customers otherwise. And of course they don't make money doing this.

    When you called it "lame" that the rep didn't know any exact times: Why would they? First step is identifying customers who are likely tethering and sending them a letter. You either sign up to tethering or you don't. If you don't, they can then watch your connection a lot, lot more closely. That is the point where it costs them money, and if you are tethering, it may cost you money. Your legal position has become a lot worse if you lied to them about not tethering and they can prove it, because then it isn't breach of contract anymore, it is suddenly fraud. A real crime.


    Depends on how hard they try. So if AT&T asks you (politely) to sign up for tethering, what can you do? You can say "Oh, I didn't know that wasn't allowed, sign me up". Good for AT&T. You can say "Oh, I didn't know that wasn't allowed, I'll stop tethering". Kind of good for AT&T. You can say "I've never tethered", and if that is the truth, nothing they can do. You can say "I'm tethering, but I'm not going to pay" and they can cancel your contract for cause, which is likely bad for you. You can lie "I've never tethered" in which case you may be in _real_ trouble if they follow it up and can prove you are tethering.
     
  5. justinwebb macrumors regular

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    #5
    att is a business they are there to make money, not be everyone's friend so they change your plan to tethering to make money. its the way of the world
     
  6. SirithX macrumors 6502

    SirithX

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    #6
    Since when could they differentiate packets? I thought we'd been through this discussion several times on this forum and always came to the conclusion that they could not tell the difference. There's a lot of people out there who simply use a lot of data, aren't even jailbroken let alone tethering, and still get the threats in the mail from AT&T about "illegal tethering," they probably just target people who use a lot of data and are still on grandfathered unlimited plans.
     
  7. bella92108 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Because there's no such thing as "Illegal" tethering. It doesn't break any laws, it simply breaks the terms and conditions of a contract. It's similar to saying "why doesn't apple detect ant pursue those who jailbreak" ... it's not illegal, but violates the terms of service. It's not in AT&T or Apple's best interest politically to attack their own users... because it'd get them press, but who wants press that they're going after their own loyal paying users? :)
     
  8. Sparky9292 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If I call them and add the 4gb tethering plan, AT&T has to differentiate using data from the iPhone browser from tethering.

    On my statement I see a section for tethering data and a separate one for regular iPhone data. Thus they know the difference.

    The problem is that PdaNet and MyWi and TetherMe all piggyback on the same tethering code subsystem.

    When MyWi codes their own native routing app, AT&T will not know the difference.
     

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