An article yesterday by Nate Anderson on Ars Technica tells a very worrisome tale.
According to the story, Robert Silvie visited his parents home and, when using their Internet access, noticed a series of banner ads that should not have have been there. After eliminating other causes, such as malware and a compromised router, Silvie realized that the Ads were being put there by his parents’ ISP, CMA Communications.
Others have confirmed this, though it doesn’t appear that all CMA Communications customers are affected yet, and a recent change to CMA Communications’ terms of service seems to drive the point home.
To make a long story short, CMA Communications has partnered with R66T, pronounced “Root 66″, to deliver ads to their customers. Those ads are either inserted into the web pages directly or appear as banner overlays at the bottom of the page.
But while CMA Communications customers are understandably upset about this, considering that they are viewing the ads in addition to paying for the Internet access, webmasters and other authors have cause to get upset as well.
This move doesn’t just impact customers of CMA Communications, but anyone who publishes a website, large or small. Furthermore, while it is currently limited to one relatively small ISP, if others were to take it up, it could spell disaster for many webmasters, sabotaging both their sites and their business models.
This is a problem that needs to be nipped in the bud, before the Web at large starts to suffer for it.Continue Reading