Thursday, August 27, 2015

AT&T Uses RaGaPa for Wi-Fi Ad Insertion

Last October I shared a post by Jonathan Mayer [pictured], a computer scientist and lawyer at Stanford, who discovered that " Verizon Injects HTTP Header for Advertising" (here). His discovery made Verizon  to announce that "Customers May Opt-out from Header Insertion" (here).

Now it is AT&T turn.

Jonathan reports that "While traveling through Dulles Airport last week, I noticed an Internet oddity. The nearby AT&T hotspot was fairly fast—that was a pleasant surprise. But the web had sprouted ads. Lots of them, in places they didn’t belong .. I started poking through web source. It took little time to spot the culprit: AT&T’s wifi hotspot was tampering with HTTP traffic.

The ad injection platform appears to be a service from RaGaPa 
[HotSpot Monetization], a small startup. Their video pitch [see below] features “MONETIZE YOUR NETWORK” over cascading dollar signs. (Seriously.)

Ad Inserted into a federal government site. Source: Web Policy

When an HTML page loads over HTTP, the hotspot makes three edits ... " 

See "AT&T Hotspots: Now with Advertising Injection" - here.