T-MOBILE CENSORING prepaid wireless broadband unless SS number provided

Found this on DC Indymedia

http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/151999/index.php

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!

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58 Responses to T-MOBILE CENSORING prepaid wireless broadband unless SS number provided

  1. sebastian says:

    Tmobile is a peice of shit isnt it. Fucking webguard is the stupidest thing they made up.

  2. xondre says:

    I fucking hate tmobile this web guard shit gets on my nerves I hope tmobile’s whole company goes down the drain

  3. captin howdy says:

    im so pissed im going to tie it to a brick and show them my return policy!

  4. Stew Devine says:

    I’m in the UK and have been using the 3 network without problem until about a week ago. Now I get this WebGuard censor page. Is there another UK mobile broadband operator NOT using this webguard?

  5. dcdirectactionnews says:

    I don’t know anything about the UK, never been there. I suggest trying Tor to beat the blocking. If Tor itselgf is blocked, use “tor bridges” which chnage constantly to beat the blocking. Works against Juniper’s web filters at certain places I go for wi-fi in DC…

  6. Jerry Rogers says:

    I am 58 years old why do I need web guard on this phone How do I get rid of it.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Get rid of T-mobile. DO NOT show ID at the store or give them an SS number to take off Webguard, you don’t want to give that information to a corporate and government database. My advice: use up your data, jailbreak/unlock your phone, reactivate on a different carrier that uses GSM. Never had a smartphone, look on Google (via Tor with Javascript blocked for security if that is a concern) for phone hackign tips specific to the exact one you have. I DO know they are harder to work on than traditional computers.

      I don’t know if you can beat Webguard using Tor, nor have I ever had a smartphone for security reasons (linux ONLY..) so I don’t know if Tor will even run on a phone. On a computer, you could run TOr with Vidaila, checking the “my isp blocks connections to the Tor network” under “network” and that will connect you to a Tor bridge that most ISP’s cannot filter because they change constantly. If you can find a way to get Tor and Vidalia on your phone, try it first, it may be all you need. I routinely use Tor to beat other filters used by some wifi providers in libraries and coffeeshops. With Tor, the ISP can’t see where you are going, and for this you do NOT need strong security, only enough to beat a computer-operated filter that uses IP addresses or URL’s to block.

      Also, see if Webguard only blocks URLs or also blocks IP addresses in decimal. If it blocks IP addresses, try the IP address of a blocked site in hexadecimal-many filter authors forget the hexadecimal option and sometime that works.

  7. sean says:

    how can i download Tor on Android 2.2 Samsund Dart?
    email me at seanc20061@gmail.com

    Glad I’m goin to ITT-Tech. Dont worry everyone, one day ill find out how to ruin Webgaurd.. and boy will I share that shit..

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      I don’t know, I do not have any smartphones or other computers with carrier-installed operating systems.

      I will say this: If I were a rich, FBI and SS loving corporate owner of a telecom, I would find it to my in my interests to make sure you could NOT install Tor without installing a new OS, so I could track you, sell your data to advertisers, block you from going to sites like www.(mytelecom)sucks.org and yes, give your surfing history to the FBI, the local cops, the SS, etc if you ever dared to bring Occupy protesters to my penthouse condo.

      Reverse planning like this works, assume they might think the same way. My advice is to GET RID of that carrier-installed OS, so you can shitcan “Carrier IQ” or whatever spyware took its place after the scandal came out. There are supposedly clean versions of Android out there, with no carrier shit as they don’t come from a carrier. You can also install Ubuntu on some of these machines, though Unity is probably a fat pig for a smartphone’s little video chip and things like Icewm whigh are light don’t have touch features. Look for advice on installing a clean version of your OS on a rooted phone, then installing Tor on that.

      I’ve never used a touchscreen, never owned a smartphone or a tablet and never will unless I have some pressing need to have a hacked version, which I do not because a regular netbook costs the same (NOT bought from a carrier, or course!) and is easy to trash Windoze and install Linux on an encrypted disk, along with my usual security software.

  8. jake says:

    You can disable it easily without validating.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      How? If they allow you to disable Web Guard with no SS number and no ID on a PREPAID account, that is a change from last year, when I had to throw away a $150 wifi hotspot to ditch T-Mobile and switch to a non censoring provider. At that time, I called them, and they told me to either give them a SS number, go to a T-Mobile store with a government ID, or keep Web Guard. I told them I didn’t want their censored shit in the house and would NEVER show ID or identifying info to anyone, even if I had to cancel ALL internet service with EVERYONE, due to privacy and security issues. I then used up all remaining bandwidth downloading Ubuntu installer images until the service stopped, then removed the battery to disable the device. This was to keep them from being able to re-sell the bandwidth I walked away from.

      If prepaid accounts can now have web guard disabled anonymously, please post exact instructions here as a reply to this reply, and I will update the story. If you are from T-Mobile, please post the date of this policy change if you can.

      • mel says:

        The guy at the local t mobile store turned off my web guard without using my ID or SS.

      • dcdirectactionnews says:

        How’d you get him to do it? Have they changed their stripes, or did you get lucky and find a sympathetic store employee?

  9. Frill Artist says:

    Fuck T-Mobile. Why do they need my SSN or ID for something I already paid for.

  10. Alex Pinca says:

    Just one more reason not to deal with T-Mobile…for me, the reasons are just piling up…they are self a righteous ego centric organization which will out and out tell you to take it or lump it. DEAL WITH T-MOBILE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  11. draven crow says:

    Its not just t-mobiles Annoying webguard that treats all grown ups like little kids that annoys me. More so is their completely shit internet service that they charge you for even when it doesnt work properly or even if you dont use it. I have been charged over £6 in less than 3 days when i didnt even use the internet and was told it was for updates. What a load of bollocks. I have payed in advance for internet and it never fucking works, so what the fuck are they updating on a network that always has problems connecting to a site? T-Mob are useless annoying rip off merchants and i agree with the comment that they deserve to lose their shitty business

  12. Can you take off safe guard

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Only be getting RID of T-Mobile as far as I know. Don’t EVER show ID to a store or give a Social Security number to an Internet Service Provider, as that makes everything you do provably yours by a standard admissable in court! This is as bad as censorship and even more dangerous. When T-Mobile told me they would not take web guard off without what they probably consider “proof of age,” I emptied the account by downloading OS disk images so they could not re-use the data, and switched that same day to someone else.

      Tor might work as a workaround, but I didn’t think to try that against T-Mobile before disconnecting their shit. If they don’t block Tor exist nodes, try downloading Torbrowser and connecting to a banned site through Tor. If they DO block Tor, you could go in using Tor Bridges, designed explicitly to bypass blocks on Tor. They change constantly, no ISP or other censorship regime has beaten them yet to my knowledge.

      The Tor network is designed to defeat both eavesdropping and censorship. It is used for circumvention as much as for privacy. At one wifi hotspot I use, Liveleak is blocked, but I can still reach it through Tor.

      On the other hand, the Tor network is slow, and T-Mobile through Tor means payying 4G prices for 3G service, maybe even 2G service in worst cases. If you don’t want to reward them with your money for censoring their customers, STOP refilling your account, unlock their hardware and use it with another GSM provider, or unlock it and sell it to buy hardware for a non-GSM provider.

      If we don’t punish ISP’s for demanding ID or providing censored service, this practice will spread. Boycott businesses that ask for ID, boycott censoring ISPs as well. One exception: if you are able to STEAL their service, keep doing so and use Tor and HTTPS at all times to prevent them from identifying you.

  13. Stacy Mehaffie says:

    Get rid of the web guard. You get all the info you need when the phone is activated. This should be an option in the set up

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      That was NOT my experience with a mobile wi-fi hotspot (not a phone) in 2011. Has T-Mobile changed their policy since then? Do they let you unblock without “verifying” name, address, age, etc? Is their policy the same for phones and for straight broadband? If so, please post a link to the current policy.

      The mobile hotspot in question was was purchased in 9-2011 with cash and no ID or SS number provided. Both the customer service AND the store manager REFUSED to remove Web Guard without an SS number or a government ID. I found out about Web guard the hard way, as NOTHING in the provided lit and NOBODY at the store brought it up.

      Therefore, I drained the bandwidth into Linux disk image downloads so they could not resell it, took out the battery, and switched to another carrier.I will probably unlock and sell it.

      I will not have any form of Internet service that is “verified” with ID documents, won’t even use library computers that require a library card to login. No ID, or NO SALE!

  14. ihermit says:

    T-mobile, blocking people, no way! You guy’s are just conspiracy junkies, I mean like right now I would be trying to figure out why I’m being blocked from an entire ip range that belongs to my hosting company. I mean, like t-mobile would block me from my own web site and email, because I did a pentest/vulnerability scan on my *own* web site with wireshark and nmap. NooOOOOooooOOO! They wouldn’t do something like that. Damn Conspiracy Junkies. Next you’ll be saying that the Corporations say you don’t have a right to your own security.

    Don’t be afraid, the corporations only have *Your* best interest in mind.

    I’ve just been censored man. And this is fucking bullshit. You tell me I can’t take care of my own web site. It anit some free shit, I pay over $200 a year. And they tell me I’ve been flagged because of *suspicious activity*.

    I can’t admin my site, check my emails, nothing!

    There goes my Second Amendment Rights, what next my First Amendment. So I guess I’ll exercise that one while I still can:

    FUCK YOU T-MOBILE!!!!! You just made an enemy of me.

  15. kenna says:

    soo i did the whole package i gave them my ss# and everything and i still cant get access!! is it alll a sham??

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Could be, some corporations are all about “we know what’s best for you” while picking your pocket. Stop refilling that account, unlock/jailbreak your device (legal or not) and re-activate it with someone else.

  16. tommy says:

    if ur on tmobile on iphone or a smart phone download a different browser in the app store. its unrestricted

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      I don’t own a smartphone for security reasons, only desktops and laptops with encrypted Linux installs. This sort of blocking is done by a proxy server (not in the browser) in most cases. I KNOW T-Mobile isn’t relying on a special browser, as I run Firefox and ran into their censorship. I dumped them the very same day!

      There is one browser that defeats many such proxy filters: Torbrowser. That’s because all the proxy sees is the Tor exit node. Setting the proxy to block Tor exit nodes doesn’t stop serious Tor users, who then rely on “Tor Bridges” which are small-scale exit nodes that appear and disappear too fast for any corporate or even governmental body to keep up with. Again, I’ve not tested Tor against T-Mobile, as I dumped their service prior to finding out that Torbrowser was now a single, integrated package with everything you need to reliably run Tor.

  17. Raj says:

    I encountered this blocking bullshit today. Great, just when I thought t horrible couldn’t get any worse. I’m definitely switching to republic wireless when they release their new phones…

  18. gary says:

    Turn off my webguard

  19. gary says:

    I want to turn off my webguard it is a pain in the butt

  20. dundun says:

    What would jailbreaking my phone do to the webguard?

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Absolutely NOTHING: The computer (your phone) does not control Webguard, rather T-mobile seems to route all traffic to a proxy filter. Locked phone or Linux desktop, there is no difference. The only way unlocking your phone might help is if it lets you install Tor/Torbrowser on it. I don’t know if Tor beats webguard, it beats a hell of a lot of other filters. I don’t know how to install it on a smartphone, there are good reasons (NSA and cop reasons) why I hve never owned one.

  21. Jaqueline says:

    I have precisely the same dilemma… Hostgator
    sucks! They sell, but “do not deliver”. My web-sites shut down each of the time.
    The remedy: say goodbye to hostgator..

  22. armani Felix says:

    Turn off web guard T.MOBILE

  23. John Doe says:

    I just canceled service with T Fuck me today. 9/20/13 I couldn’t get web guard off after two phone calls and plenty of SSN’s

    Don’t deal with ISP’s that pull this shit.

  24. Jocelyn T-Mob Sales Associate says:

    You guys are silly. Its a SOC that automatically gets put on when you dont enter use an ID to show age verification. Its like trying to buy cigarettes without an ID. Just go to a store, show the rep your age with an ID, and ask them to remove the web guard. The rep will delete the web guard SOC, click that they verified age of 18+, and its gone.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      NOT ACCEPTABLE! 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. Even at many libraries I can get uncensored access without any kind of ID so long as I provide the laptop.

      This article is aimed at people who want internet access without any kind of ID documents for privacy reasons. I refuse to connect to the Internet by any device or service that can be tied to be by identity or financial documents (NO ID, cash only). You choose to sell only censored service to people without “proof of age.” I choose to refuse to buy censored service. You FAIL TO WARN your customers that service without ID documents or an SS number is censored, causing people to have to throw away over $100 worth of your equipment unless they know how to unlock it. I ended up using your wireless hotspot for electronic parts when you refused to take it back, as the replacement carrier does not use GSM.

      When I am in a store, I do not buy or seek to buy ID-requiring products, using substitutes instead. If asked for ID to buy something like spray paint, I refuse and ask if they intend to decline the sale. If they do, I walk away from the entire transaction, not just the paint, leaving it on the belt for them to restock.Usually they cooperate to avoid the restocking hassle.

      T-Mobile needs to either dump Web-guard, or state in large print on their package that ID is required to get full access. NO MORE SCAMS, be honest with your customers.

      Oh and one more thing: if you don’t like this reply, good luck trying to sue me like some people on Yelp have been sued. I have no legally reachable income, no assets, and no intentions of ever seeking either one and can laugh at the judgement of any court. I also have never in my life used any internet connection nor service with by birth name nor with any kind of document tied to my “legal” identity, nor to where I am staying. Good luck even trying to find me, as the various wifi hotspots and cellular connections I use have no idea who I am or where I live, thanks to my refusal to use any service requiring credit, ID or an SS number. Bet those Yelp posters who said things big business bullies didn’t like and were sued wished they had connected to the Internet without ID, an address, or credit cards…

      • Lenny Allmon says:

        All this moaning and groaning had me worried. Until I dialed 611 and requested removal of the webguard Feature. I was not asked for any personal information other than my name and phone number, and the webguard is gone. Simple and fast, I have been happy with t mobile for 10 years, And remain that way.

      • dcdirectactionnews says:

        This was NOT my experience in 2011, when I was given the choice of providing a Social Security number, showing ID at a T-Mobile store, or accepting the censorship. I told them to fuck off, emptied out all remaining bandwidth by downloading linux installer images until it shut off, then threw their shit out and started over with someone else. Also, keep in mind that I did not want to link the account even to a phone, privacy and non-verifiablity are top concerns for many prepaid customers. NOWHERE did they admit to web-guard in the packaging in the store, never did the guys at the counter mention it. Instead I encountered a blocked site and had to discard a $150 device and burn up $50 worth of airtime to prevent them from reselling it.

        When you buy PAID internet or phone service from a randomly chosen provider, you do NOT expect to pay your money, then be told you have to provide additional information to get them to remove censorship they never told you you were buying! This is bait and switch and in my opinion T-Mobile should be prohibited from selling Internet service unless web-guard is not activated by default. It is very unlikely I was the only person those bastards ripped off.

  25. salsero says:

    hello everyone, I was here last night reading all the comments and I was furious…… cuz when i went onto my account………….. on my phone………. it was asking for my full name address and the last 4 of my SS#…………So I did called………… Tmobile……….. and ask them to remove the web guard…………….. She turn it off… She did not asked for my SS# or my DOB……….. Today is may 17 2014….. maybe things have change now….thank you
    r

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Maybe they are feeling the heat, this thread gets a LOT of hits. Can anyone from T-Mobile confirm a policy change that no ID or SS number is now needed to remove Web Guard, and when this was changed? Still a pain in the ass-and they still get the phone number you called from. Also, assume ALL their traffic could still pass through the web-guard server for tracking purposes, even if they turn the censorship component off for your account.

      Before buying ANYONE’s web service, be sure to ask if the service is uncensored, I suspect other surprises are out there. I’ve heard of Verizon and/or AT&T (not sure which) refusing to sell contract cellphone to people appearing on FBI lists, I rejected one potential carrier before I tried T-Mobile because they would not activate a prepaid device at all without an SS number.

      Be sure you don’t have to provide any kind of ID, your address, an SS number, etc to get activation-and to get uncensored activation-before you spend your money!

  26. mike says:

    I’m not defending t-mobile at all, I like their service they’re not bad for me personally. But this fucking we guard bullshit is fucking ridiculous. I’m 22 years old, if I want to look at porn, let me look at porn, if I want to go to funnyjunk, let me go to fucking funnyjunk. I pay my bill on time, why do they treat me like a little kid?
    I called to get of rid of the web guard feature, (wasn’t asked for birthday/ssn just my name phone number and PIN number) they deactivated it. Its fine and dandy for 5 months, and today it just randomly popped up. No reason, the customer service representative told me it does that when I change my plan. (I hadn’t changed my plan, just paid my bill) Asked him what changes were made?… Nothing, no changes were made. It just fucking popped up to piss me off.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Worst of all, T-Mobile is now in negotiations to buy out Virgin Mobile, one of their competitors. This kind of censorship is reported to be increasingly common on prepaid plans by many carriers, Vodaphone in the UK being another notorious example. There is speculation they are using this to push people to more profitable contract plans.

      T-Mobile even blocks the Tor Project site, meaning if your only computer is a T-Mobile device you have to go on wifi at a coffeeshop just to get Tor and bypass Web Guard without their fucking cooperation. Word is Tor defeats Web Guard, but I cannot test that as I no longer have T-Mobile for obvious reasons.

  27. jim says:

    i worked all day sat trying to turn this webguard bs off finally changed my homepage on my smart phone to google but the service tech at walmart said it will take couple hours to get it to stop working…….my question that I can not get an answer to is why did it just pop up on my phone and computer and not any of the other three phones on my family plan and who put it on my phone and none of the others …I use hot spot for my internet service at home and on the road.

  28. msdrip says:

    I will more than likely never buy a cell phone in my lifetime (thank god I’m near death). I can hardly wait for “cell” phones to die. “Mobile” today is an attrocity. We want proprietery protocols and walled in gardens (because we’re dumb as hell). Not that they’re not useful, but I’ll wait until I can commiicate with ANYTHING, using internet protocols.

  29. Margie Lange says:

    I want to disable web guard. Please help me

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      This post proves T-Mobile is still putting web guard on prepaid, no-ID phones and Internet hotspots by default, and still has not learned their lesson. This page and the thousands and thousands of views it has had would not exist if they had either not used web guard, warned that they used it either in the store on on their packaging, or just taken their shit back and given me a refund when I refused to show ID or give an SS number to disable it. They didn’t do things the easy way, so now I go after them the hard way. They can FORGET suing me for this, I have no assets or income and no plans for either, meaning I can simply ignore any lawsuit and any judgement of the kind Yelp users have been hit with for criticizing corporations.

      I only know of two ways kill web-guard on your connection without giving up your privacy: get rid of T-Mobile, or pass everything through Tor. I had long disposed of T-mobile’s Internet service by the time the Tor Project switched everything over to the Tor Browser Bundle, which makes Tor easy to use. I don’t use smartphones, but for a real computer, download the Tor Browser Bundle and see if it can connect to Tor while connected to T-Mobile. Any sucessful connection to Tor will bypass ALL censorship by the carrier. Even China and Iran have real trouble fighting Tor. T-Mobile might block a direct connection, in that case you need to use “tor bridges” which I have never used. In that case, dump T-Mobile.

  30. Joseph says:

    I’ve been on T-mobile’s prepaid plan for two years now and have NEVER given them my SSN. Web Guard has been an annoyance, but now it’s worse because I’ve been using close to 5GB of T-mobile’s 4G for two consecutive months. So what happened after this billing cycle? I get the Web Guard nonsense when I try accessing YouTube or any other data intensive site. It’s BS. When my account funds run out, I’ll be going to a different provider.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      That looks like “Bait-and-Switch Mobile” is tryng to use Web-Guard to limit data usage. There is also word that carriers may be resorting to this in an attempt to force people to subnscription plans. DO NOT CONSIDER Verizon as your replacement as they are inserting tracking headers into data that can only be defeated (for now) by using https for every website:

      https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/verizon-x-uidh

      For now, get Torbrowser from a non-T-Mobile connection as word is T-Mobile blocks their website. Tor should defeat web-guard though I cannot test that as I cancelled T-Mobile after first contact with Web-Guard.

      https://www.torproject.org/

      The real issue is that T-Mobile stores take your money and let you find out about Web-Guard the hard way. The people they employ at poverty wages to work in their stores seem to be given no power to deal with this. That is probably illegal bait-and-switch behavior but governments love Internet censorship and hate unregistered phones, so good luck prosecuting them. Always investigate online before you buy.

  31. I had the Web Guard appear on my account when I upgraded it and I tried disabling it myself through the account website but I could not do it. So I called T-Mobile Support at the provided phone number for “Troubleshooting” and a technician came on the line, determined that I wanted to remove the Web Guard feature from my account. The technician did something at her end and told me that in two hours I should turn off my hotspot device and then turn it back on again. When I waited the alloted amount of time and turned the hotspot off and then back on again the Webguard feature was gone as promised and no one ever asked me for a social security number. The technician handled everything and it all went down very smoothly.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      You may have gotten lucky, others have reported less cooperative results. Is this a prepaid or a contract account? Web-guard was always supposedly optional on contract plans but at least in 2011 mandatory on prepaid plans without ID or an SS number. Did you give them a Social Security number or any kind of ID? Back in 2011 I was told I would have to either give an SS number or go to a T-Mobile store and show ID to get rid of Web Guard. I refused and switched providers. Had I known then what I know now I would have used Torbrowser (download over wifi because T-Mobile blocks the torprojeect site) to defeat them until their prepaid service ran out. Tor wa not as easy to set up in those days, so I drained the megabytes into ubuntu disk image downloads to prevent them from being resold, then trashed T-Mobile’s hardware.

      • I have had prepaid accounts of various amounts of GB allowances for more than a year now and have never had a complaint. My first prepaid with them was for 13GB and most recently for 18 GB. They have never asked me for an ID or for social security numbers. When I need privacy I use Browsec or Zenmate and have never had a problem with either of them. I just telephoned My-T-Mobile at their “Troubleshooter” option and the technician was fast, efficient, courteous and successful in getting rid of the Webguard after a two-hour wait … After the two hour wait all I had to do was to turn the hotspot off and back on again and voila! The Webguard was gone as promised.

  32. Aworkinprogress learningeveryday says:

    I have family mobile which is t-mobile pre paid and gave them my ss number when signing up. One day I was surfing, yes porn sites, and low and behold I see my ss number displayed in a box on the homepage of one of the sites!!?? Can someone please tell me why in the world my ss number would be displayed in a little box on one of these sites? Was it t-mobile’s filter doing something and that’s why it was shown? I’m not feeling great about my ss number being randomly displayed around d the net because of this dumb filtering that I do think even need. I’m am adult and can censor or not censor myself thank you very much

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      That sounds like a bug in their filter software. Giving an SS number to any ISP was an exeptionally bad idea and you should expect more of this and possibly a stolen identiy. Stop using that service immediately and get another plan with another provider. Even if you get another plan with T-Mobile they might be able to match up records and apply your SS number from the old account to the new one. As a strict rule I refuse to complete any transaction with any merchant demanding ID or an SS number.

  33. Mark says:

    Stupid Web Guard…. Can you recommend another provider that you can buy a prepaid moibile hotspot that doesn’t have Web Guard?

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Each has their problems. Verizon has the tracking headers they add to all unencrypted http traffic. Thus, rejecting Verizon and T-Mobile you can look at other providers. Make sure you can get service without ID or a contract (prepaid is MUCH safer), then go online by wifi somewhere and use a privacy-respecting searh engine like DuckDuckGo or Startpage to search the carrier’s name plus things like “censorship” and “filter.” In some countries this shit is very common, in the US in my area T-Mobile seems to be the one you always hear about.

      While you are at at, also seek to avoid capped plans, and avoid high-priced “premium” carriers (Verizon again etc) unless doing live streaming video(which I make no attempt to do). If you can’t get uncensored service, download Torbrowser over wifi, Web-Guard can’t block anything over Tor and can’t block Tor. All they can do is block non-Tor access to the Torproject website to throw a “chicken and egg” situation at you. I’d take a fast, uncapped, cheap plan that had to use Tor to defeat a filter over a capped plan BTW. Worst of all is capped plans with exceptions for ad-supported things like Youtube that pay them money and lower caps on everything else. Boycott those.

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