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  1. #1

    Default Can Your Cable Provider Legally Trigger a Firmware Update on Your Hardware

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Arizona

    I am an existing residential customer of Comcast Cable who provides internet service only. I do not rent any equipment. I purchased and own an Arris Surfboard SBG7580-AC Modem Wifi Router.

    On July 21, 2017 I attempted to access an internet site. I received a Splash Page with an Arris and McAfee logo congratulating me of this Secure Home software which protecting my internet connection and the network. I thought perhaps my browser had been hijacked. I called Arris Technical Support who informed me Comcast and another Internet Service Provider has pushed a firmware / sofware update which includes this McAfee software. I told the Tech i own the equipment not Comcast and asked why is Comcast upgrading the firmware without a notification or giving me the ability to opt in or out? After the explanation I was told to contact Comcast for further information. However, their foreign technical support personnel were totally clueless regarding this firmware update and stated to contact McAfee. I called McAfee and their support tech couldn't locate me being a subscriber to this software and stated to call Comcast. I just went around in circles calling Comcast and even speaking with their security department. I called Arris again speaking with a supervisor indicating I wanted this firmware /software removed. Through another Arris support Tech he called McAfee indicating the request to remove their sofeware. McAfee stated there was no ability to remove the software since it's encrypted into the modem through the firmware update. Now, I'm also being blocked accessing a site McAfee's software is determining to be malicious and could be possibly stealing information and hijacking the device with malware. Obviously, this site is on McAfee's hit list. If I want access this site it's not their decision it's mine.

    This software intrusive and is interfering with my freedom and right to access any site of my choice .

    Any option will be appreciated

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    I am unaware of any law or protected right that provides you unlimited access to any site you want.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    Can you not locate a copy of the older firmware and reflash it?

    I would think there would be a setting in the modem's console that would allow you to turn off the protection. Having multiple firewall/antivirus programs running can sometimes cause issues so a consumer should have the ability to disable that one and use their own. There are directions claiming to be able to do that here:

    http://forums.xfinity.com/t5/Custome...e/td-p/2930738

  4. #4
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    cbg. I agree that the OP's wording about freedoms and rights might be misguided.

    However, I think that his provider's actions are comparable to a water utility entering his house and installing low-flow devices in his shower heads. The OP has no right to high-flow showers, but that doesn't give the utility the right to take it away.

    Another analogy could be that a cable provider reprograms your TV to disable over-the-air broadcast reception.

    The point is that his internet provider has no right to change the OP's equipment, unless he has signed over that right to them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    Quote Quoting JJPuzzles
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    unless he has signed over that right to them.
    He may have done just that when he signed up for the service.

    Out of curiosity I checked my cable company agreement and here's the first paragraph:

    Amendment. _____ may, in its sole discretion, change, modify, add or remove portions of this Agreement, and the Service provided thereunder, at any time. _____ will notify Customer of any such changes by posting notice of such changes at (website) or sending notice via e-mail or postal mail. Customer's continued use of the Service following notice of such change shall be deemed to be Customer's acceptance of any such modification. If Customer does not agree to any such modification, Customer must immediately stop using the Service and notify _____ that Customer is terminating this Agreement in accordance with Section 12(a) of this Agreement.
    Seems to me that the contract with the cable company gives carte blanche to the cable company to do just about anything. There may be more in my contract regarding my own equipment but addressing that won't help the OP.

    He needs to read his own contract to see what rights he ceded to his cable company.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Out of curiosity I checked my cable company agreement and here's the first paragraph:

    Amendment. _____ may, in its sole discretion, change, modify, add or remove portions of this Agreement, and the Service provided thereunder, at any time. _____ will notify Customer of any such changes by posting notice of such changes at (website) or sending notice via e-mail or postal mail. Customer's continued use of the Service following notice of such change shall be deemed to be Customer's acceptance of any such modification. If Customer does not agree to any such modification, Customer must immediately stop using the Service and notify _____ that Customer is terminating this Agreement in accordance with Section 12(a) of this Agreement.
    Couple of problems here. From what I've seen on the internet about this, there was no notice given that this was coming. While it may give them the right to make changes to their service, it does not in any way give them the right to modify equipment owned by someone else. They could say you have to have compliant hardware to use their service but they cannot unilaterally make your existing, privately owned hardware compliant.

    Without seeing any official communication or document related to this rollout, I can't say if they messed up or not.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    So, when pushing an update down the wire to their users, how is the ISP going to be able to tell which modem is theirs and which is not? (Hint: They are not going to push the update down MAC address by MAC address-updates are pushed without any of that kind of verification.)
    Don't make me quote Monty Python at you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    Quote Quoting BooRennie
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    So, when pushing an update down the wire to their users, how is the ISP going to be able to tell which modem is theirs and which is not? (Hint: They are not going to push the update down MAC address by MAC address-updates are pushed without any of that kind of verification.)
    Then it would be on them to make a mechanism readily available to remove it for the people who own their own equipment if they aren't going to bother keeping a simple database of who rents modems from them and who doesn't.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    So, what's keeping this EU from doing a factory reset of his modem? It's not like he has to fdisk/format it.
    Don't make me quote Monty Python at you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Comcast Firmware Update

    Quote Quoting BooRennie
    View Post
    So, what's keeping this EU from doing a factory reset of his modem? It's not like he has to fdisk/format it.
    I don't believe the factory reset unwinds a firmware update but only sets the settings to the factory default.

    Op needs to go to 192.168.0.1 and look to see if there is an off setting for mcaffee.

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