Now maybe this is all paranoia, but if they can monitor and control what goes through your router, TOR and proxies and so on become irrelevant to hiding your online activities. Then there may come a time when the government wants the keys to your router. To protect the children, of course.

Generally, when you buy a new device you plan on using it however you want, hopefully with the occasional update to keep everything running smoothly. Every once in a while, though, an update comes along that makes you scream in terror, like the one Cisco just rolled out across their router line, forcing users to register with Cisco’s cloud service or end up with a bricked device.

Why in the world would you need to tie your router into some sort of cloud service? So that Cisco can monitor everything you do and sell your information, of course! Alright, alright: on the bright side, you do get anytime, anywhere” access to your router, and access to ‘new apps’ to enrich your ‘connected lifestyle.’ We never asked for apps on our router in the first place, but that’s beside the point.
Aside from the obvious privacy issues, the real problem here is that they’re trying to take your porno and warez away from you. The terms of service of Cisco’s Cloud Connect service contains some really interesting clauses:
Cisco reserves the right, ‘without limitation,’ to transform your router into a useless brick if they decide you’re enjoying your porno just a little too much, or if they catch you browsing the Pirate Bay. God forbid that they catch you browsing the Pirate Bay in search of porn.

  1. bobbo, the ONLY true Libertarian on this blog, all others being dogmatic posers says:

    One wonders why a private corporation would care if you surf porn- – -other than to sell you a subscription service for it. seems this kind of prurient interest is more that of a government? I relate to my government only in a minimum way==using its roads, following traffic controls, paying sales tax-that sort of thing.

    But my ROUTER! Holy Cow… thats like the window to my soul, the heart of my being, the seat of my private revelations.

    If only there were some sort of right of privacy in our relationship to International Corporations and their quasi faux governmental interest to over control?

    Fertile ground for a new kind of libertarianism?==or just the recognition of how our government is morphing into something more Big Brotherish.

    ahhhh, the future is so bright, I hope they let me keep my eyes.

    My Eyes!!!

  2. some guy says:

    Never put anything in the cloud that you don’t want the NSA to see, period. With their new super computers they can unencrypt anything in seconds.
    Boycott Cisco!!!

    • deowll says:

      I’m pretty sure governments can encrypt things so that other governments can’t crack them however the software we use is created by others. I wouldn’t care to bet my freedom on it.

      However I’m also confident they can detect the use of encryption and that will automatically put you on a suspects list.

  3. sargasso_c says:

    Encroaching totalitarianism. A constitution protects you from the State, not from the Corp.

    • dusanmal says:

      Yes, but the Obama(Bush)ProgressiveState enjoys wonders of “public private partnership”… Now do you understand that Progressivism is another name for Fascism?

  4. The Control Voice says:

    There is nothing wrong with your interwebbitts tubes. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For your life, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your interwebbitts tubes. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to — To Our Total Control of YOU!

    have a nice day…

  5. President Amabo (I see the comment system is still designed for retards.) says:

    OK, so Cisco has a caluse against porn. Porn is the primary purpose of the Internet, which would make Cisco home routers useless.

    Also, what happens if the US grow up and requires you to eat a bacon cheeseburger while viewing porn before being allowed to vote?

  6. deowll says:

    I think they may find that their business is about to tank.

  7. Sam says:

    Anybody else remember when corporations weren’t mega paronoid and didn’t feel a need to own the government, the press and completely control it customers, uh uh uh I mean….. citizens.

    • dusanmal says:

      Dear Sam… it is the other way around. Can corporation make a regulation, put someone in jail,… shoot someone from a drone in a sky? Progressive Fascist have increased Government control of the private business to such extent that business has no freedom left. Just imagine Cisco not obeying almighty Governmental dictate… puf’, the regulation from the Imperial Executive Branch and (same as with the financial sector, car industry, coal power plants, pipelines,….) Cisco can’t sustain business any more. Government comes and “rescues”, ending up in direct ownership of the “corporation” (say, AIG, GM,…) and dictating what they need to do anyway.
      It is Progressive Government controlling free business and free people. That is the real oppressor. Just remember that EPA nut who inadvertently spilled the beans on this practice (you know, “crucify few and the rest will obey”…). That is why Cisco is doing what they are doing (or GM building cars that dealers beg not to be given,…).

      • Sam says:

        Well if that’s your mind set, than I’m not sure where to start or whether it’s even worth trying. So I’ll just say this. How do you think the Citizens United ruling was upheld? The large and conglomerate corporations have purchased “our” political system and the politicians. 6 mayor corporations have purchased and now control all the media. Privatizing (i.e. owned by Companies) of the military, correctional facilities, border patrols etc. is very far along. Privatizing of the Police, Fire and schools has already started.

        The Fed which is a private financial institute has almost total control of the U.S. economy and Wall Street. When Wall Street tanked the economy The Fed told the government to bail them out and they did. The Health Care Industry reacted to “Medicare for All” by quietly pressing for the Affordable Care Act which privatized 30 Million new customers. BTW, which the Supreme Court just reaffirmed.

        The largest Corporations and the Conglomerates receive subsidies from the government and pay almost no taxes. In return for this favor the politicians receive money to run and stay in office.

        Our Government is almost completely bought and paid for…. and you think the government is autonomous and in control, Seriously!

        The funniest thing of all, is that the money that is now dumped into the political system by many corporations gets spent on media who’s profits go to those conglomerates that gave the money in the first place. They pay themselves and get the results they want for almost no real cost. Brilliant.

        • jpfitz says:

          Sam, you are dead on right in your expression of the way things have progressed. dusanmal comes from a country where there was much turmoil and may not realize how great the USA was not that long ago.

          Progress is good. Corps taking control of the electorate, not.

  8. Derek says:

    DDWRT…. done

  9. cc_sweet says:

    More fun moments: every time Cisco security get bypassed or subverted, giving a giant zombie army to hackers / jokers / scammers.

  10. NewformatSux says:

    Now that’s how movie studios should get piracy under control. Take over the routers. There goes your defense that it was someone using your wifi.

    You still have the defense that the product is so crappy, I shouldn’t have to pay money for it.

  11. Mac Guy says:



  12. Christopher says:

    dd-wrt, openwrt, tomato and others are the solution. Thankfully many routers continue to be capable of running one of the many linux based open source firmware kits floating around the net. Been years since I ran such a device without custom firmware.

    That said, who’s to say that your ISP isn’t already monitoring your internet use. What’s truly scary about this piece is that your router is the last defense to keep prying eyes out of your private home network.

  13. NewformatSux says:

    Anonymous free speech is not protected. You have to register all political spending with the FEC, including spending by outside groups, listing how much is spent on each ad and whether it is for or against a particular candidate.

  14. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Does it strike anyone else that Cisco’s new router software can be accessed from a mobile platform thru the Cisco Cloud Connect service has “HACKED” written all over it. Why would you be so concerned with your network that you would allow access from outside the network? And how much trust can you put in Cisco to keep its service secure, because if they fail, everyone on the service is vulnerable.

    While we are at it, why not a mobile app that lets you unlock any door or window in your house from across the continent. It would only require your home security to be constantly run thru a third party, but think of the convenience. Sure, this third-party could go behind your back or fail to protect itself, but what are the chances of that?

    • Anonymous says:

      They (Cisco and nearly any other multi national excuse for a business) don’t CARE about anyone’s vulnerability. Let’s get that straight right now!!!

      They (Cisco) only care if they get CAUGHT exposing information that makes it easy for some OTHER crook to take advantage of – especially if that other crook didn’t pay (Cisco) for it. But they (Cisco) really only care if the customer finds out since it usually means paying money to that customer for no good reason.

      But don’t bullshit yourself – they (Cisco) don’t care about anyone except their own butts! And if you want to trust someone like that then you might as well join all the other brainless lemmings, buy as Mac/iDiot device, join Facebook and dance like a fool.

  15. John S says:

    I agree with those who wonder why a router manufacture cares about our surfing habits other then to sell that information to someone. I cannot see how it provides them any useful feedback on router stats. I question Cisco’s motives and maybe they are simply caving to investor pressure to keep those profits up.
    Its hard to find a decent consumer router anymore without some issues. Privacy never crossed my mind as being one of them.

  16. orchidcup says:


    Enough said.

  17. Kent says:

    Who uses Cisco firmware? Use Tomato, problem solved.

  18. Glenn E. says:

    So while the really dangerous Pirates, that run Wall Street and the big banks, can’t be monitored by the very government agencies tasked to monitor them. The average Joe gets some corporate big brother checking to make sure you’re not getting anything for free.

    If anything ought to be in the damn cloud, and monitored 24/7, it should be everything that effects the money flow and value of stocks and bonds. And NOT how much profit Mickey Mouse is losing due to pirated pix.

    What worries me is that Verizon and other carries will soon come along to Cisco’s way of thinking. As well as the other router brands. So you won’t even have any choice but to “join the cloud”. That’s the point where we’ll be encrypting everything, at both ends. And I suspect the government already knows this is coming. That’s why the US is building its super decrypter, in Colorado. Probably buried in some mountain range. Riot proof. Not nuke proof.

  19. Dallas says:

    Ok, who did not google ‘pirate bay’ ?

  20. Warrior says:

    Thanks for the heads up. These big companies will gather and sell your info in a heartbeat! Besides the privacy concerns, it is just creepy that all your internet traffic, would be, stored, analyzed and sold. Google: Cisco-NSA.

  21. Uncle Patso says:

    And people wonder why we are so paranoid…

  22. Chris Mac says:

    you simply have no idea


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