Rogers Canada is modifying Web pages. Take a look at this Wired article.
Is this a marketing dream? A marketing nightmare? Bit of both.
If you searched for a student loan, I could buy a modification of the results you get from your ISP. Even if you wanted a loan from my competitor, if I paid enough, I could divert you instead.
If you searched for my company’s products, a competitor could do the same to me.
Expect this to become a hot button issue for net neutrality. If this goes unopposed, just imagine what the political campaigns will do to every web site you visit. ISPs will be rewriting traffic all day based on bids. Rudy Giuliani needs a boost in Iowa, so he’ll pay Comcast to rewrite all requests for Mitt Romney’s web site to his. Someone might even play dirty and use soft money to redirect a candidate’s traffic to a Swift-boat style attack ad instead.
Stand up for net neutrality, or you won’t be able to trust a thing you see online – ever.
And if you use Rogers or any other ISP that uses these practices, drop ‘em. Vote with your wallet, because that’s the only language some of these people will ever understand.