Will an ISP disclose the current IP address of a customer?


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Ah, Comcast... yeah, that's an ISP I use at my place. yeah, their sales department is annoying - nobody seems to know what IPv6 even is, everybody's trained in high-pressure sales tactics, and they push higher-priced plans on you. But if you can see through that, and in return, press them for technical details like how to check on bandwidth limit, or why ping is not going though - they just shrink back. Back in the day, I did have better luck chatting online about those topics - my conversation got referred to a more senior staffer who was not completely clueless.
I have two ISPs: Google Fiber Webpass (primary) and Xfinity Prepaid (backup). I (fortunately) don't live in a monopoly.

Webpass' support has been great, the best I had in an ISP. Support was able to point me to a network engineer for a TINY problem (that was just a DHCPv6 issue that a router reboot worked), and willing to use terms like "prefix delegation" in support messages. It's a microwave link, but it's a really good one.

In comparison, Comcast support doesn't even know what IPv4 or IPv6 is when I had issues with their modem's bridge mode having unreliable IPv4 (prepaid forces a modem), when non-bridge mode works fine. So I plan not to renew Xfinity Prepaid and just use a VPS as a VPN for a "second IP" (I can let this expire, no retentions call needed since it's "prepaid").

In my previous place, I had Wave Broadband's "Wave G" service, and it often gave me 10-20 Mbps despite me paying for Gigabit service. Wave's support wasn't nearly as bad as Comcast, but the Wave G network implementation does suck when compared toother Gigabit symmetrical ISPs (both larger and smaller companies), even AT&T's 802.1X is better in many ways.

A big reason why Comcast sucks (outside of being a "monopoly" in many areas) is their focus on sales. I heard Comcast puts their best reps on sales and retentions instead of tech support, no wonder why people hate them. Put the best on tech support and your ratings will go up.

As a main ISP, I'd happily take AT&T or CenturyLink VDSL2, or a good WISP over Comcast even if it means living with 50-100 Mbps or a even forced modem (well, unless the other ISP uses Carrier Grade NAT). I could get CenturyLink VDSL2 or Wave "Cascadelink" (both >100 Mbps but not Gigabit), but that would mean disconnecting my Webpass in my apartment since the Cat5 cables are shared (still beats my last place's "exclusivity" deals).



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many companies have some clause allowing them to sell your information when you buy from them
Comcast (Xfinity) Privacy Policy does explicitly mention IP addresses in the clause about what they collect. The clauses "what they share" and "with whom" are so vague, that they always can justify such actions.


Son of Beastie

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Clearly, an ISP has to know and store your IP address. Duh, if they didn't, their system would break. "I had this customer connected two seconds ago, but I don't remember where ...", that's laughable.

The clauses "what they share" and "with whom" are so vague, that they always can justify such actions.
I'm quite sure they are not as vague as you think. If Joe Random calls Comcast and gets your IP address, I'm quite sure you have grounds to sue, and would win. Now, whether you have the means and wish to sue is a different question.

Another issue is whether they unintentionally leak IP addresses. For example, let's say Comcast outsources their billing to a billing company (they probably don't, but let's just work through this as an example). If they were concerned about privacy, they should only tell the billing company the following: Mr. Aragats, lives at 123 Main St. in Whoville, from May 1st to May 31st used our "blazing fast internet" service, his account number is 123-456, and he owes us $98.76 for that. In reality, they might instead dump their whole service database on the billing company, and that will have details like the exact wiring configuration: you are physically connected to wire ABC-567, which is served by their switch in Whoville's suburb of Wheretown, your modem is a model Yoyodyne-555 serial number 6543, your phone number for customer contact is 555-1212, and your assigned IP address is In theory, their billing contractor should honor the privacy of that information just as much as they do. In practice ... humans are on average stupid and unreliable.


Son of Beastie

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Now: All these rules are implemented by humans, and humans are notoriously unreliable. So think of the above as general guidelines, with lots of fluctuations.
Two years ago I was looking at nothing but medical sites and kept seeing a strange IP# at the sites I was visiting that wanted JS allowed in NoScript. I can tell which scripts will likely need to be allowed for minimal site functioning and noticed this right away. It was my ISP, Charter/Spectrum following me around.

So I made a rule to prevent them from invading my personal space, called them up and confronted them, they plead ignorance and it soon disappeared:
###Block Charter Spy
#block in quick log on $ext_if from to any
#block out quick log on $ext_if from any to

Human beans run the Government. Some abuse the power their job position places in them.

Then there are those who have lost sight of, and have failed, in their Mission Statement. Their sense of self-worth and reputation as a Professional more important to them than conducting themselves with the Professionalism they lost long ago.

There was no sign the Captains and Mates Beauty Salon ever existed in HUD St. Louis Field Office ledgers because they went back 10 years to check the books and could not understand why there was no record.

Do I have to run that end of it, too? Of course there is no record of HUD approved Government Fraud starting in 1981 and ending with one question from me in 2017. They cooked the books, but they are not cut out to be criminals. They are too sloppy to get by me, but together they are more powerful than one person.

Even my Neutron bombs didn't phase the Human Bean sub-species, but I'm not done deploying them:

Be sure to check the Second page for the Tenant roster. There are two tenants listed but over 50 apartments in the Tom Sawyer Townhouse.The Captains and Mates Beauty Salon was one and the other collected the rent.

And in all that time nobody dared ask the one question I dared that put an end to over 35 years of Gubbermint Fraud:

"What do I have to do to rent an apartment so I can open a computer repair shop and run a business out of Public Housing like she does?"

Or incriminated themselves by answering like Admin did. On covert digital audio recording.