If you have one of the new Cisco routers with Cisco cloud capability, specifically the EA2700, EA3500 and EA4500, you likely got a firmware update recently. One of the things that the update does is moves all the router administrators features from your home network to Cisco’s cloud. That means that you can’t administer your router from their traditional web based interface and you’re forced to use their cloud to do it. Not only that, but you have to agree to some rather nasty terms of service:
You agree not to use or permit the use of the Service: (i) to invade another’s privacy; (ii) for obscene, pornographic, or offensive purposes; (iii) to infringe another’s rights, including but not limited to any intellectual property rights; (iv) to upload, email or otherwise transmit or make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, spam, junk mail or any other form of solicitation; (v) to transmit or otherwise make available any code or virus, or perform any activity, that could harm or interfere with any device, software, network or service (including this Service); or (vi) to violate, or encourage any conduct that would violate any applicable law or regulation or give rise to civil or criminal liability.
While we are not responsible for any content or data that you choose to access or otherwise use in connection with the Service, we reserve the right to take such action as we (i) deem necessary or (ii) are otherwise required to take by a third party or court of competent jurisdiction, in each case in relation to your access or use or misuse of such content or data. Such action may include, without limitation, discontinuing your use of the Service immediately
So let me get this straight. As far as Cisco is concerned, it if you use the Web to view porn or download copyrighted files without paying for them, Cisco is really going to have a problem with you. It gets worse though. ExtremeTech found that Cisco has deleted a portion of a privacy statement that said Cisco would keep track of Connect Cloud customers’ “network traffic” and “Internet history.”
Thus it shouldn’t come as a shock that users are really ticked off about this.
Now if you want to control your router again, Cisco has instructions that allow you to roll back the firmware update. The next thing is to log in and to uncheck the automatic upgrade option. Something that I strongly suggest that you do if you have one of these routers.
Now what does Cisco have to say about this? They posted on their blog that “Cisco Connect Cloud does not actively track, collect or store personal info or usage data for any other purposes, nor is it transmitted to third parties.” Hmmm…. What does that mean? Perhaps Cisco only track users activities when they feel like it? Or when asked by someone? It’s a reasonable assumption that those are possible as the terms of service give Cisco the right to nail you if you violate their terms of service. And that wouldn’t be there if they didn’t plan on using it.
Sorry Cisco. I wasn’t a fan of your routers due to my previous experiences with them. But this is a major incentive to never buy your routers ever again. I’m pretty sure that many others feel the same way.