Found this on DC Indymedia
UPDATE 8-24-2014:T-Mobile is supporting the Livestream feed from Ferguson, MO, where protesters are demanding justice for Michael Brown, murdered by a white cop. If you need voice service and not data, the web-guard issue DOES NOT APPLY and they do deserve thanks for supporting the Ferguson livestream.
UPDATE 4-10-2013:As of 3-20-2013, the T-Mobile support page concerning Web Guard now does not state that “age verification” is necessary to turn Web Guard off. The same page still states under “what kind of accounts can web guard be added to” that prepaid accounts require age verification to remove it.
Someone from T-Mobile had the nerve to compare this to demands for ID where liquor or cigarettes are sold, but no law in the US requires proof of age to use the Internet-and no liquor store takes your money, gives you an empty bottle, then demands ID to fill it and keeps your money when you refuse, having not known of a hidden ID requirement. If the owner of a liquor store ripped off people this way he would go to jail.
They are running ads about being “unrestricted” but I do not know if that refers to censorship, or just to unlocked phones, roaming, etc etc etc. Last time I tried T-Mobile, they were the exact opposite of “unrestricted” as I had to throw away $200 worth of their shit and go with another provider to get uncensored access without ID or personal information.
HACKING UPDATE: Using Tor can bypass a lot of these sorts of internet filters, as it obscures the IP address you are trying to reach from being monitored by your ISP. I have not tested this with T-Mobile, but have defeated a number of commercial web filters that will not be named (so they don’t know to plug the hole) by this means. Some IP’s block known Tor exit nodes, Tor offers “tor bridges” which are rapidly changing Tor entry nodes to defeat this sort of blocking . Changing your DNS service from the one the provider uses to OpenDNS might defeat a DNS based blocking system, but not one that blocks based on actual IP address.
What’s wrong with T-Mobile:
If you need to buy wireless broadband Internet from a cell phone company, you can rule out T-Mobile as a service provider unless you need only “family friendly” access or are willing to give them your Social Security number. They are still good for cheap voice/text only with a dumbphone, however, and I do not recommend smartphones, so you probably won’t be getting your phone and data from the same place anyway. No-data plans from many providers are going as cheap as $12 a month, but please avoid those that thrown in free unmetered access limited to websites that pay them (Facebook, etc) for net neutrality reasons.
All T-Mobile prepaid wireless plans (Monthly4G) have Web Guard turned on by default. When you go to a T-Mobile story to buy prepaid wireless, nobody tells you about Web Guard, and none of the literature provided with their $150 wifi hotspots or $55 a month 3 GB capped wireless ever mentions the censorship. Their website describes it as an “optional feature” but apparently it is only optional on contract plans where they have all your personal information!
To turn it off requires an “age verification” procedure involving either providing a Social Security number, an address, and a birth date to their website or going to their store and presenting a government-issued ID. Some kind of data-scanning program prevented the entry of a false address and SS number from working, even with ZIP codes, etc pre-matched to the provided fake identity.
If you are unwilling to show ID or give up your Social Security number, T-Mobile will refuse to turn off Web Guard, which not only censors “porn” cites but has been caught blocking Facebook and blocking access to such things as the Nazi’s sites that anti-racist activists must monitor to know what the Nazis are doing. A second unpublished filter blocks access to competing wireless provider’s activation sites-and also to Dow Jones, where stock prices are published.
I tried customer service, even asked to speak to a superviser, got NO cooperation and was told “we don’t care if you turn it off!” Back at the T-Mobile store, they refused take back their expensive wifi-to 4G device because it took more than 14 days before I encountered a blocked web site. I gave up on them, drained all unused bandwidth into Ubuntu installer downloads (the “shopping lens” didn’t exist yet), and set up with another provider who shall not be named for both their protection and mine. The whole mess amounted to about $200 cash effectively turned into toilet paper.
Here’s the importance of all this: prepaid mobile web access bought with cash is untraceable except by tracking the device itself, as no documents are presented at purchase. This gives a location, but not the identity of the user. Due to the presence of GPS in some devices,, the battery should be removed when not in use, so as to prevent tracking when not in use, especially when using it on the road.
Providing ID or an SS number to T-Mobile (or to ANY cellular provider), who surely would retain the information and forward it to the FBI under the Patriot Act, voids all that protection. If you want Internet access registered to you by documents admissable in court, you can get ten times the bandwidth at the same price from a cable or landline phone company!