Feeds

AT&T ends illicit freetard handset tethering

Don't try to hide - they know who you are

High performance access to file storage

AT&T is clamping down on subscribers who have jailbroken their iOS devices or rooted their Android handsets in order to tether their computers or tablets to the intertubes without paying for that service.

"We've noticed your service plan may need updating," AT&T less-than-subtly tells unauthorized tetherers in an email obtained by OS X Daily, Cult of Mac, and others.

"Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan," the email explains – ending any speculation as to whether AT&T can distinguish between tethered and on-device data usage.

Tethering owners of jailbroken iPhones have taken advantage of apps such as MyWi or the iPhone-to-iPad MyWi OnDemand to get a free ride on AT&T's service, while owners of a variety of Android devices have been able to root their handsets and install tools such as those supplied by the android-wifi-tether project. The Android tools support tethering over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; MyWi adds USB to the mix.

AT&T's missive informs tethering freetards that to continue using such apps they'll need to sign up for their DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering plan – and if they don't sign up but continue their unauthorized tethering ways, AT&T will sign them up anyway: "If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011."

As AT&T explains, that plan's tariffs are as follows:

  • $45 per month (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
  • $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
  • Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones

There is another alternative, according to AT&T's email: "If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required."

As might be expected, some tethering scofflaws are less than totally pleased by this development – such as Henry, who complained to The Houston Chronicle's TechBlog: "[My iPhone and Android handset] are rooted and I have unlimited data on each. I PAY for that. How I use it is my business."

To which we reply: well, not really, Henry. It's AT&T's service you're using, and how they choose to parse it out and charge for it is their business, not yours. You pays your money and you makes your choice.

Another TechBlog commenter who reluctantly agrees that AT&T is within its rights to charge for services as it sees fit – "that's capitalism," he says – nevertheless expressed his feelings about Big Phone's new policy concisely: "Very few things in life would make me happier than seeing AT&T burn to the ground." ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.