When you’re torrenting and are caught download illegally by your ISP, you’ll probably get a strongly-worded letter in the mail, or a thread of some kind of possible future legal action against you. But there’s a US internet service provider that seems to take things up to a whole new level by saying that if you torrent movies or download illegally, it will lead to problems controlling your thermostat in your home.
Armstrong Zoom, an ISP with around a million customers in the north-east part of the US, sent out a letter to subscribers that were suspected of pirating TV or movies. The letter contained the usual threat of account suspension, but the ISP goes further and says, in detail, that unusual and illegal activities can prevent you from heating your home in the middle of winter.
“In accordance with the Terms and Conditions, Armstrong’s copyright infringement policy, and federal law, please be advised that, if Armstrong receives additional notifications of infringement connected with your Zoom Internet Service, Armstrong will remove you from your current internet service level and place you at the lowest service level,” the letter explains.
“Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services.”
In this case of issuing letters, Armstrong is using copyright infringement complaints from rights-holders to issue these letters to offenders. While it’s entirely true that if people have connected devices at home and their internet goes down, those devices will not function properly, but the fact that Armstrong knows this and is leveraging it against its customers is quite concerning, to say the least.