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tch, tch, Telstra

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday December 13, 2007 )

I had a bit of a surprise today when entering a domain name into my browser that didn’t exist – instead of my (chosen) default search engine page offering alternatives, a telstra search page with “ is not a valid web address” came up – complete with their ads and click tracking on the search results.

To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t do anything that would have instigated this change and it’s only happened in the last 24 hours. It was perhaps a coincidence, but early this morning my connection was behaving a bit flakey; so I rebooted the box, modem and router.

Here’s a shot of what the results page looks like:


what is this page” ;which provides instructions on how to not have their results display.

I’m not one to jump up and down too much about this sort of thing as this change is fairly mild, but it would definitely raise the hackles of many folks who believe their ISP shouldn’t be messing in such a way with their Internet experience.

A hotly debated example at the moment is the Rogers Internet scenario where they appear to be using a controversial data substitution strategy that allows the company to add its own content to the pages their customers visit.

I’m sure if I went through the mile long terms of service from Telstra, I’d find there’s been no breach – but the point remains, I surf in the way I choose and changes to the way I do so without my consent aren’t the best way to get me singing a company’s praises – particularly since this appears to be a money making venture for Telstra *and* they are tracking the activity of any link I click on in their “search results” – they’d have this data anyway, so what gives?

There seems to be a lot of this going on at the moment with providers. What are your this sort of interference, or should I say, “enhancements” from ISP’s?

(Somewhat) related:

Spyware – detection, prevention and removal


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