MagicJack net-phone: swollen pustule of crappy terms of service and spyware

Our buddies at Boing Boing Gadgets have had a hard look at the MagicJack Internet telephony thingamabob and discovered that it is a festering pustule of crappy terms of service, spyware, and lies:

In short, it not only has one agree to ads with its paid-for system, but claims that the ads are necessary for it to work. It will also snoop on your calls to target ads more accurately, and has you sign away your legal right to take it to court if it defrauds or otherwise harms you. Delightful.

Neither the EULA itself, nor any other privacy or legal information, can be easily found at its homepage. It's not even provided at the point of sale, where one enters credit card info, email and street addresses as such, so as to gain access to the service and have your MagicJack dongle delivered. I found the EULA's URL through Google.

It gets sexier. When you access MajicJack's instant web help page, a bizarre series of "compatibility tests" take place first, reporting lies like "Your MagicJack is functioning properly" even if you don't have one installed.

Even the "look how many people came for a free trial" counter on the homepage is a fake, a javascript applet that increments itself automatically…


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