Don't use Marriot hotels' sleazy Wi-Fi


38 Responses to “Don't use Marriot hotels' sleazy Wi-Fi”

  1. nixiebunny says:

    What’s to stop any ISP from doing the same thing? 

  2. kmoser says:

    Kind of like what NetZero used to do?

  3. xzzy says:

    Free wireless at BWW restaurants used to hijack link clicks about once every 5 minutes, and instead of going to the url you wanted to, you got a page full of ads. 

    I understand the urge to try and squeeze pennies out of every single thing possible, but at some point you gotta wonder if the bad mojo is worth the microscopic bump in profits.

    • traalfaz says:

      Once upon a time, Belkin released a router that did the same thing, though less frequently.  I haven’t bought so much as a USB cable from them since.  Any company that thinks it’s OK to mess with my data stream doesn’t get my business.  Not ever.  IMO if they thought it was in any way acceptable even once, they are not people that I want to do business with even if they say they’ve changed.

    • flosofl says:

      Or personal VPN. I use the VPN service on OS X Lion Server when I’m out an about. Before that OpenVPN on a DD-WRT router.

      Er… unless you are on a “Guest” WiFi service that locks down the ports to 53, 80 and 443. Then MiFi or similar is the way like Rob says.

  4. “http://**” just added to my AdBlock+ filters.

  5. Guest says:

    Target does something like this too. If you do a google search while on Target’s in-store WiFi, search results will have a green check mark next to them. Apparently they have some kind of proxy that only allows “approved” search results.

    I’ve tried ricockulously NSFW material and they don’t seem to care, and they don’t seem to be doing anything obvious like tampering with comparison shopping and competitors like…

    They did mange to break Apple’s iTunes and the App Store (you can browse, but you get an error if you try to download anything, which is really odd because Apple uses SSL)

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Just walk in with your phone set to Wi-Fi tether or carry a Mi-Fi. Visit whatever site you want then. If I want a good deal in a PC shop I always do this, and Google the cheapest prices. When the staff see this they usually panic, and bow down to reasonable price matching. If one shop is able to sell something for a certain price then it’s a fair assumption that they buy them in for the same price so therefore able to sell at the same price.

    • MrEricSir says:

      I’m guessing the Amazon Price Check app doesn’t work on Target’s wifi?

    • Brad Ackerman says:

      That sounds like it may be an anti-spyware proxy; the green check marks would then be links that the proxy provider doesn’t have on their list of drive-by-downloaders.

  6. Having recently stayed at two Marriots I am already fired up about their WIFI policies. $12.99 for one days usage. 

    • Guest says:

       whoa, you had to pay too much for a massive convenience? Sorry to hear it.

    • Brad Ackerman says:

      Wonderful business practice for them — try to charge me $13/night more for something that should be included in the room rate, lose a s*&t-ton of room-nights entirely. (Two months a year, in my case.)

  7. Ben_R_R says:

    Seems a copyright lawsuit  is in order here. Marriot created a derivative work with intent to profit. That should be worth like eleventy-brazillion dollars. (According to the MAFIAA).

    • that was my first thought as well.

    • nosehat says:

       Yep, this was my thought too.  I saw this myself recently on an airport’s wifi.  I was visiting a page that I own and that has no ads at all on it, and sure enough, there was my content with a big banner ad across the top.  I took screen caps and saved copies of the vandalized code, but I didn’t do anything about it.  It didn’t seem worth hunting down a lawyer or even posting an angry blog post somewhere.

      The thing that pissed me off the most was that my site’s visitors would have no way of knowing that I hadn’t put the ads up myself.  It seemed a real breach of trust.

    • Paul Frields says:

      Maybe I missed your point, but this sounds like arguing Regal Cinemas is violating the copyright on a studio’s movie by running a trailer before it for a different movie. Not saying the ad bannering isn’t icky, but this would be quite a novel interpretation of copyright law.

  8. Winter Seale says:

    Sounds like the kind’s of scary stuff that specializes in.

  9. angusm says:

    One more reason why HTTPS will eventually become the protocol of choice and all communications will be encrypted. On-the-fly page-modification is simply another man-in-the-middle attack; encryption will take care of it.

  10. Fishmark says:

    They responded to my Tweet!/CourtyardHotels/status/189381641435758592

  11. This is nothing, when I stayed at the Fairmont Tremblant in March 2010 every SSL protected website that I use on a normal basis produced a self signed SSL cert verification error (I’m an internet engineer and know what the “scary warning bubble” means).  At first I thought it might be some great firewall of Canada trying to MITM me – so I rejected all the certs and just didn’t visit my bank account, credit card, or gmail that week.  To my surprise though I brought my laptop to the Internet cafe across the street from the hotel and low and behold – no warnings.  The f*cking Fairmont was the MITM culprit!!!!

  12. oldtaku says:

    Whenever I’m using town bicycle Wifi I always ssh connect to my server and send all web traffic through that as a socks proxy. So even if the hotel is doing middleman SSL (surprisingly often) they don’t get a chance. I use putty + foxyproxy, but there are a lot of options. Of course it requires that you have an ssh account somewhere.

  13. Sean Nelson says:

    WiTopia has worked well for me.  They seem trustworthy (though how can you ever be sure?) but their OpenVPN SSL gets me through filters without hassle.

  14. Hankford says:

    Shocking News,  whats next Facebook & Google are tracking users shopping interests!!! 
    LOL How long have you been living in the digital era?

  15. Ted Bautista says:

    how can something be “unbeknowst” and at the same time be “common practice”?

  16. Christopher Jones says:

    Marriott – two R’s two T’s.

    Also, it’s the ISP injecting code, not Marriott. 

    Finally, do a TINY bit of research when choosing a hotel and you’ll find, miraculously!, that only FULL-SERVICE hotels charge for internet, which is typically bundled with long distance service and/or premium cable access. This trend is the result of high end hotels catering to those who are seeking luxury as opposed to value. If you want free wi-fi, choose Courtyard, Residence Inn, Townplace Suites, SpringHill Suites…all complimentary.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  17. I’ve yet to find a ‘free’ wifi account that didn’t at the very least want to harvest your email address.   (In the UK.)

    Just after reading this, at a friends: “our wifi router has a free access thing from BT.  We don’t get billed”.  Tried it.  Got *all* sorts of warning messages about spoofing et al.

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