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Canadian ISP hijacks Google Homepage

Wired (opens in new tab) and Arstechnica (opens in new tab) report that a Canadian ISP, Rogers, is experimenting with a new technique that allows it to "communicate" more efficiently with its customers.

The controversial technology, which ArsTechnica says is lincesed from PerfTech, lets the ISP insert its own content in web pages served by a third party (like Google).

In this case, Rogers displayed a warning to the customer saying that he/she has nearly reached his monthly limit.

However, as mentioned by Lauren Weinstein (opens in new tab) who first came up with the story, this could open the way for more sinister practices: ISPs could start serving adverts for example.

This could be a test case for ISPs and Content providers. Rogers has indeed modified Google's content - its homepage - without first asking the search company.

And the logical follow up to this, adds Weinstein is, "Will Web service providers such as Google and many others, who have spent vast resources in both talent and treasure creating and maintaining their services' appearances and quality, be willing to stand still while any ISP intercepts and modifies their traffic in such a manner?"

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.