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I've made The Register and The Inquirer

keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Read all about it and you'll see why I hate BT.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=11847

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/33177.html

Oh the joys.

Keith
28 REPLIES
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

That was you?

Damned poor plight.

I have to ask the question though, how can BT claim you owe them install costs. You must easily be able to show a record of that with there pricing?
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

BT are like the 3 wise monkeys, except they are not wise.

Deaf, dumb and blind.
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

I have to say, I know exactly what BT are like.

Hell, if the comapny that has CableTV running down our street owned up, I would be right onto there service for my phone service.

I would be keeping my BT line for my ADSL line though. Credit where it is due, there is more choice and control over ADSL.

BT are the MS of the UK. They are regulated yes, and pretty good, if you are a sizeable business that is. The consumer gets a raw deal if you need anything more than bog-standard.
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Yes I can prove beyond any doubt that i could not access their service as they had my gear seized. What really hacks me off is that they ( BT) can go around making accusations and when they are proved, by law to be false, can simply dissappear again. Obviously they don't know how much upset they have caused me. Mind you its my turn now, I've done nothing wrong and BT are not going to get away with it. If they did, they might do it to someone else and having first hand experience, (i.e.), coppers going through the entire house, (they even checked the wife's underwear- no computers there then!).

Where they got this from is still beyond me, but I have started to upload to my site and will make all the documentation that I have been sent, available to everyone. I have put the newspaper links on my site too.

www.btsuckandhereswhy.co.uk.

Have a look and a read, and I hope this never happens to anybody else.

Keith
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Ah, now I remember when you asked about that domain.

I have seen in the past people complain about a raw service from BT. Some partly right, most wrong and with the very rare cases they are right.

I myself fall under the "some partly right", as my gripes are more on the tone of, why do we have a "take it or leave it" service.

Quite obviously, your case is court proven and although I am no law expert, you could quite freely post all the details on your site, however, remember only to post facts, if you wish to post details that come under personal opinion, make sure you mark them so.

Without this, you could see BT come on the bounce as revenge.

One thing I may point out is that you may be able to claim damages from BT without going to court. If OFTEL are advising you to, then they are obviously backing you, which I have to add, is something rare amongst the consumer market.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

It is a bad state of afairs when BT can come and do this to you bt glad to see you got your stuff back in the end (even if it is broke). Out of interest how come trading standards made you format the hard disk?

Chris
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

well this is a grey area as they told me it was a " pre requisite" of getting my equipment back. However my legal team advised me that this was not the case, but before I had the chance to stop them, my hdd was wiped. Doesn't really matter though as they had to give me all my discs and the drive was backed up on them anyway so they didnt really get what they wanted.


What they have done however, is caused me alot of upset for over a year for nothing and I don't intend letting them get away with it. These big companies today, seem to think that as they are so big that they can please themselves and do what they want, and if they are wrong, well its too bad. Well I hope they don't get that idea with me, as unfortunately I am not going to get fed up, nor go away. Its time they learned a lesson before some other ppor sod gets this kind of treatment
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Your absolutly right in what you say, whats happened to you is scary, to think they could just come and do that to anyone. I dont know what you can do about it or how far you get but good luck with your campaign and make sure you keep everyone posted if you get anywhere.

Chris
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Will do.
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

There are several things I'd like to know about this.

Why do the news articles keep referring to '"fraudulent" use of, or access to, the Internet (or as one put it, the Interweb)? I wasn't aware of such a crime. Is this something peculiar to Scottish law? Where is it "defined"? I could understand simple "fraud" or "breaking the terms and conditions of contract", but "fraudulent use of the Internet" is a new one to me.

One article says it was 'triggered when telecommunications giant BT passed on details of a hacking investigation concerning "fraudulent" use of the Internet.' That puts a rather different slant on it -- not so much the access to the Internet itself, but more related to what use was being made of the Internet. If it was "hacking" they were concerned about, then the fact that someone had an account for Internet access would not, of course, be a defence against the charge, but might rather be viewed as strengthening it. Similarly, even if it was the access they were concerned about, having an account would not necessarily be a defence if the terms and conditions stated (as I believe some do) that the access is for one computer only. Perhaps they had reason to believe multiple computers were being used on an account for which just one was entitled to access?

Why would the police and local authority get involved? Highly unlikely, surely, if BTs complaint was merely about breaching terms and conditions of use? The news items give little away about what this "investigation" conducted by BT was about. Was it a general investigation, or was it specifically targeted at one household? If it was a general investigation, then the standard of evidence required against any individual (for the police to take an interest) may be rather lower than if only one person is involved. It's quite possible that the police were involved at the outset, and may even have requested support from BT to assist them with some enquiry, rather than BT going to the police as a result of their own enquiries. Who knows -- we know nothing about the details from the news articles, although they do speak of BT going to the Police.

What standard of evidence is required for the police to get involved and to act in this manner? If I went into a police station and claimed my next-door neighbour is gaining "fraudulent access to the Internet", I'd expect to get thrown out, and perhaps even cautioned, if I persisted. Why should BT be any different if they cannot come up with some reason for the police to devote time and resources -- conducting a raid -- to the cause?

I find it very difficult to believe that action of this kind could originate as a result of a simple mistake (eg, someone in BT thinking you were, in effect, committing a fraud on them [if it was against someone else, it would be none of their business]), so I think there must be something behind this which has not been explained in the articles. If there is, indeed, nothing more to it than that, then I think it wholly unacceptable for the police to come barging-in and seizing your equipment merely on the say-so of some third party. But that still wouldn't explain the involvement of the local authority. Nor why because " the Police did not find anything on my PC, they decided to give it to Trading Standards." I think there must be something else behind this.

And it's not acceptable for your equipment not to have been looked after properly. If you're innocent, and you've been deprived of making use of your equipment for a year, then it doesn't seem unreasonable for a component of the compensation to include this matter.

I think, if you're seriously considering taking legal action against the various parties involved, it's not sensible to go blabbing to the press, stating opinions about it beforehand. You may find the comments you've already made will be deemed to have prejudiced the case, so the people you want to sue get off on a legal technicality.
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

Ok taskforce9 I'll try to explain.

Bt made a complaint to the police, stating that I had breached the Misuse of Computers Act 1990 and the misuse of telecommunications equiment 1963. The Police are then required by law to seize the said computer equipment and send it for forensic examination. They did this and contacted me to say that No Evidence was found to support BT's claim. However as I had some of my childrens playstation games backed up on my hdd, they thought that this would be of interest to the Trading Standard Service. The Police then gave my pc and peripherals to Trading Standards who in turn sent it away for yet another forensic examination.

After 53 weeks, i was contacted by my solicitor, who had in turn been contacted by the Procurator Fiscal. He advised that the Trading Standard Service had submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal but she had decided that I had NO Case to answer. This was the outcome I had predicted to the Police on the day they took my pc and have protested my innocence since day 1.

I have the relevant documantation that I received from BT, in which they cleary admit to having initiated the whole thing. Upon questioning what was ment by their accusation, they advised that they were led to believe that I had been gaining access to the internet with details other than my own. Now as I was already paying £60 a month for provision of their 2-way sat service, which as you will know does not require a telephone line, and then connect using a 56k dialup with somebody elses details from my own phone is beyond me.

They got it wrong, simple as that. Now its time for them to admit they are wrong and go about compensating me for the grief and embarrassment they have caused. A year is a long time to have such thing to worry about when you have done nothing wrong. If in fact I had done what Bt or Tradong Standards had claimed, don't you think I would have received some "Bad Publicity"?.

I have had a year of upset and I have done nothing wrong, if I had, then I would be going to court. There was no evidence, as there was no crime. Its a simple case of, you always hear when the guy on the street does wrong but if its a big company its hushed up. Its time for change, people dont deserve to be classed as guily until found innocent just because its a company who makes the initial complaint.

I hope this has cleared it up a bit for you.

Keith
N/A

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

I don't know anything about the 1963 act, and I doubt if there's much about it available online, as it's so old. Very unlikely that an act dating from that period imposes a requirement to seize computer equipment, though.

The Computer Misuse Act, 1990 definitely does not stipulate that the "Police are then required by law to seize the said computer equipment and send it for forensic examination":

Quote
14.—(1) Where a circuit judge is satisfied by information on oath given by a constable that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(a) that an offence under section 1 above has been or is about to be committed in any premises; and

(b) that evidence that such an offence has been or is about to be committed is in those premises;

he may issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search the premises, using such reasonable force as is necessary.

...
(6) This section does not extend to Scotland.


The search warrant is issued on the evidence of a Police Officer, not of BT, and it is a "may issue a warrant" not a "must issue a warrant". If a warrant was issued (and I assume there is no right of entry without one), the police must have had some sort of evidence from BT to put before the judge, not a simple request.

As I say, I know nothing about that 1963 act you mentioned, but it seems strange to be using the Computer Misuse Act of 1990 to cover Internet access. I understood it to relate to a "pre-Internet era" and to simply relate to "computer hacking". Applying it to Internet access seems to be extending it rather beyond its original intent, but perhaps the wording has been found to be sufficiently flexible [ie vague] for this purpose:

Quote
1.—(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;

(b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and

(c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.


So if someone intends to access http://www.ibm.com, ("any computer") but in doing so causes a BT computer to perform the function of authenticating him for Internet access, does that constitute an "unauthorised access"? (www.ibm.com is deliberately intended for public access, but the user does not actually "access" the computer that authenticates him, the packets merely pass through).

Interestingly enough, I was actually working for BT at the time the Computer Misuse Act came into force, and I remember that to ensure stipulation (c) above would apply, we had to modify all our log-on screens so they explicitly stated this was a BT system and made clear that only authorised people were entitled to log on.

I wonder how BT could prove that point if they ever brought an Internet access case to court under this Act: "I had no idea that user-ID and password weren't for public use your honour, just like bt_test@startup_domain. It all happened under-the-covers — I saw no log-on screen, and nothing telling me I was accessing a BT system. I had no idea it was an unauthorised access!"

Although BT may have set this in motion, what happened after that does not seem to have been of BT's making. The decision to pass your equipment to the Trading Standards body seems to have been a police initiative, and what happened to your equipment then must surely be the Trading Standards (SCOTSS?) responsibility, not BTs?

BT may have started the ball rolling, but this could not have ended up as it did without others having done their bit; and their bit seems rather more significant than BT's, to be honest.
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

I've made The Register and The Inquirer

When the Police called, they said that BT made a complaint that I was obtaining access to the internet using their isp. (i.e) I had someone elses username and password and was dialing into BT and logging on with their details, hence I was obtaining the internet for free. Now as I've said, I was using their 2-way sat system at the time. My machine was then taken and examined, no evidence. Now the coppers that took my pc has their report and decided that there was no evidence to support BT's claims, and that was that. However my games seemed to cause them concern so being coppers, invited the Trading Standards to have a look, which they did. They gave a report to the fiscal, the fiscal threw it out.

If Bt hadn't made the complaint, the Police wouldn't have taken my pc. Solely becuse of BT, my machine was taken and sent for forensic tests twice, guess they wern't happy at the results the first time, I dont know.

What i do know is , I have been exhonereated of any wrong doing, and regardless of what Bt say, they shouldn't go accusing people without first maaking sure they are 100% sure.

Btw the Relevant parts of the acts which Trading Standards were on about were:
1/ Trade Marks Act 1994 section 92
2/ Trade Descriptions Act 1968 section 28(2).

Now according to the Trading Standards, nobody should be using p2p, I even asked the guy if he used it, he said no of course, but in reality, how many ppl do. So I guess that if anyone has kazaa on their pc, they had better watch as they could be accused of all sorts.

Please note though that the seiure powers may be different in Scotland, but I cant see the Police taking equiptment without the proper authority but believe that as BT made the complaint, then the Police are obliged to seize anything which might yield evidence to support any such claim. The Police merely followed procedure in respect to the complaint that Bt lodged but as I have said, the Police did not find any such evidence to support BT's claims. Put simply, they accused me of something I hadn't done and there was never going to be evidence as there was no crime.

How they came to their conclusion I do not know, but perhaps in future they might like to "make sure" first.
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I've made The Register and The Inquirer

It sounds as if it's not known why BT started this action, or what "evidence" they thought they had. I would imagine they would have been able to amass a fair bit of evidence from their own records -- details from your exchange showing numbers dialled, and access logs at the ISP showing user-ID used and telephone number which had dialled in -- without any need for your equipment to be examined. If a judge has issued a search warrant on "no evidence", then it's difficult to see how proper procedure has been followed.

If the police subsequently handed your machine over to the Trading Standards body, that's a matter for the police to explain, not BT. It may have been because of BT that the police came to have the equipment in the first place, but BT certainly can't be held responsible for decisions and actions subsequently made by the police, or, for that matter, by the Trading Standards organsisation. They must account for their own acts.

Personally, I think it would be interesting if this did go to court (perhaps a Consumer Rights group might sponsor you!), so BT can be asked before a judge to account for what they were up to investigating you; what aroused their suspicions; what evidence they had; on what basis a search warrant was issued; why the police brought in the Trading Standards organisation (was it lawful for them to do that -- surely, in order to search they have to first have reason to believe a crime may have been committed, they can't search simply on the basis of hoping to find something amiss?); and the Trading Standards can account for what they did to you equipment; and someone for the requirement for you to re-format the disk.