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FF Sparks (Casual)

AOL, whee.

So... AOL is blocking Trillian again. But it gets better. I reconnected using the AIM client... and they kicked me off of that too, with the same 'unauthorized client' message. Moreover, according to the messages from AOL's server, they're kicking me off by manually/automatically logging my account in elsewhere, i.e. hijacking it. 'For my privacy and protection against unauthorized accesses.' Well, pardon me... my AIM screen name happens to be attached to an actual paid AOL account I used as a travel dialup. I honestly feel that if I am paying them some godawful sum of money per month, I should be allowed to use whatever the heck client I should use. Moreover, AOL forcing me to upgrade to their latest AIM client (which is bloated and less stable than even the previous ones) instead of using the older AIM I had which was actually stable, and then hijacking my screen name 'for my own privacy and protection'...it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Yes, AOL has the legal right to block Trillian from their network; they own the servers. But then Microsoft has the right to block all aol.com addresses from accessing the support.microsoft.com site, because they own those servers. Or to block all Netscape clients from accessing Hotmail, because they own those servers. I find it funny that people will justify the legality of AOL's actions, and then turn around and condemn Microsoft for when they blocked Netscape from Hotmail briefly as it having been 'unethical'. Moreover, I find it particularly reprehensible when AOL whined about Microsoft's unfair business practices and how Microsoft jerks around the government regulators...and yet when one of the conditions of the AOL/TW merger was that AIM had to be opened up publically to competitors (especially since AOL owns both AIM and ICQ), AOL/TW worked to find a loophole so that they wouldn't have to open AIM after all, once the merger had gone through. Pot, kettle...

I'll watch for a bit to see if Trillian gets another workaround. I could've coped if they just blocked Trillian, but I'm furious that I got disconnected even on the official AIM client, when I decided to play AOL's game...and even moreso that they've taken control of a screen name /I pay them for/ and are holding it 'for my protection to ensure my privacy'. Needless to say, I'm cancelling my AOL dialup account and I'm encouraging anyone I know who uses AOL to pick a different ISP.

So in the meantime, any of my AIM contacts...I'd like to suggest you go pick up Yahoo! messenger. Go grab Trillian if you don't like the actual Y! client. I'm on Yahoo under the same screen name as I was on AIM, the same as my LJ username. Find me there...because if AOL keeps up these tactics, you sure as heck won't see me there anymore.

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