elb's hovel of thoughts

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Price of Lust

Reading the New Sunday Times, I noticed a rather interesting ad put up by Telekom Malaysia on page 8, the broadsheet edition.

It reads:

"TMNet would like to highlight that there has been an increase in the number of complaints from customers on IDD call charges made to international destinations without their consent or knowledge

We would like to inform customers that in most cases, these happen when they access certain paid international content sites, for example adult entertainment (read: porn) sites." et cetera.

Now, what exactly happens? Most of these sites contain code that download dialer programs onto a user's computer, which then execute, forcing the internet connection to get severed and making an international call to a foreign far away country, say Vanuatu.

Does all this happen with the user's knowledge or consent? Yes. Like most 'businesses', these sites usually carry fine print, warning the user that he would be disconnected from the Internet and get dialled into another country, usually in the Carribean. But I suppose those horny idiots are too concerned about fulfilling their lust to want to bother reading the disclaimer. And they pay the price for it, shamelessly complaining to Telekom about 'excessive IDD charges'. Bear in mind that it is a phenomenon (if it can be called that) that is faced even in developed nations. I recall reading about it in a column in one of the UK's broadsheets.

Perhaps the police want to obtain a list of complainees and charge them with watching pornography? Then again, they can't seem to be able to even deal with another more obvious source of this: VCD/DVD sellers.

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