I used to not worry about this, but a story a friend just told me (who has the same ISP as me) now has me paranoid as fuck. I initially was going to post this in the Computers/Games forum, but I don't feel as if it will be seen as well there, and I want answers from many others on this.
This event happened 2 months ago, a bit before all this SOPA copyright shit was all the heat in the US. My friend, who likes to mod/remix roms of old Genesis and SNES games, received a call from his ISP (the same one I use, BTW). He said that they had logged him "repeatedly downloading copyrighted media from various sites." He stated that the log of sites that they gave him included almost all of the ROM/Emulator sites he frequently downloaded from, and if they were to log him visiting these sites again, they would cut his Internet and report to higher level authority. He said he hasn't been on a ROM site since that incident.
Now what he was doing could well be considered illegal in most cases, but the legal shit is not what I'm worried about. What's making me worried is that they have proven that they actually do monitor Internet traffic closely.
I mean, free music sites are easy to catch; just look for "Shared", "Music", "MP3", "Download", "Free", etc. anywhere in the URL. But ROM sites? That's not an everyday thing to come across
Now as you can imagine, as a DL and a Furry I have every right to be worried. Why, am I doing anything illegal, such as downloading, distributing, or viewing child pornography, or sex-chatting/web-camming with minors? No. Then why should I be worried at all?
Well first off, I visit Adisc frequently. Is there anything illegal about Adisc? No, but the related phrases associated with the site include "Adult Baby", "Diapers", "Diaper Lover", and other diaper-related terms.
To the average person, diapers are directly associated with children, and when unfamiliar, rather sketchy sounding phrases like "Diaper Lover" appear in the URL and Google search results of "Adisc.org", they may relate it to pedophilia and view it as a possible link to child porn.
Second, I browse furry art sites, including Furaffinity, e621, Inkbunny, and others. A good bit of these sites (with the exception of FA, since it was banned there), contain mass amounts of "Cub". For those unfamiliar, "Cub" porn includes drawings of underage characters engaging in sexual situations.
I do not enjoy or support cub porn (though I'm not against it either), and even if I did, those drawings are still legal in the US as they do not depict actual children, therefore no child is exploited or harmed in the making. Some even say it's protected by the 1st Amendment for being artwork.
However, while both of these instances are perfectly harmless and legal in the court of law, that does NOT stop them from flagging and possibly making a call to my house for suspicious activity. I even worry about clean babyfur art (involving diapers) even being taken as child pornography.
But what happens if I do get flagged, and they gain strong suspicions of my Internet activity? Sure, they can accuse me, can access all of my Internet logs, downloads, search every track and sector of my hard drive, maybe find a few diaperfur images and [currently] unfinished diaperfur stories, but no child pornography or actual links to it whatsoever. So everything is fine, right?
Legally, yes. I won't be going to prison for 20 years. Yay. But what about my family?
Hear me now: do you think I would want to go through the miserable headache of having to explain to my Mother why she has our ISP calling with questions about accessing "child porn"?
Do you think I would want to explain why some of the links they mention to her over the phone involve drawn, ~3yo anthropomorphic foxes and wolves in wet/messy diapers?
Do you think I want to have to give an explanation for the other sites that contain other drawn anthros nude and in sexual situations/activities?
And how do you think I would feel having to explain why the links are all diaper-related?
Do you think she'll find any of this shit NORMAL? So what if I don't get arrested and fined, my life is still fucked if the ISP calls regarding this stuff. I'm not even going to go cross into that nightmare of what happens beyond...
So as of now, I've discontinued the use of Facebook and email while browsing DL/Furry sites to avoid linkage to my real identity. I also don't browse DL/Furry sites as much, and I use SSL when available. I know it sounds like excess paranoia, but I do NOT feel it's worth the risk.
Can anyone else speak towards this? Has anyone here (preferrably US members) been contacted by your ISP for potential "suspicious" activity based soley on *B/DL related content? Or for the furries: babyfur content?
Any other thoughts on this?