Circling the Globe

Every where I go, internet access is a must. My communication needs depend on it, my livelihood depends on it, my business depends on it. Here in Sara, I use Globe Telecom (Globe Tattoo Wireless Broadband) because they are the only provider in the area with 3g coverage. What good is internet access if pigeons travel faster?

Unfortunately, Globe Tattoo is not all that it’s cracked up to be. As I recently discovered, Globe has gone out of their way to bring you a less richer internet experience, a less safer one and, quite frequently, a slower one.



I discovered this quite by accident one morning as I was working diligently upon our new business website. Upon viewing some source code, I noticed the following java-script on my web page that I did not put there:

<script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
function FN_IR_load(){var script = document.createElement('script');script.type = 'text/javascript';script.src = '';document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(script);}var FN_IR_loaded = false;if(document.images.length > 0){FN_IR_loaded = true;FN_IR_load();}
// ]]></script>

At first I thought this must a freaky mistake or possibly my system was sporting some mal-ware. I scanned my system several times and it repeatedly came up clean. Today I was able to confirm that the same java-script is also loading on the systems of other Globe Tattoo users. Now I’m scolding angry.

I don’t pay for broadband so my ISP can force me to use compressed images. I especially don’t pay for this when they offload that “service” to a company in the Netherlands (which is where that Java-script points to). It’s even worse that the given IP block is publicly known for its security problems. Let’s not even mention the fact that Globe does not disclose this to their users. If you were going to force your users into loading such things (without their consent and from a malicious source), why not use your own local systems to do it so the service is faster and more secure?

Oh well, Globe wants to sell dirty service, then I can return the favor. For all of those on the Globe Tattoo usage list, there are two ways you can circumvent this java-script gift from Globe Telecom.

  1. Use an HTTPS proxy – since Globe is injecting the http stream, https remains unaffected because it is encrypted. Use a local https proxy and your data flow will be safe. This is the best option though not always the fastest (or most convenient).
  2. The 2nd way to circumvent this java-script injection is to remove or change your browsers user agent. Globe appears to be checking all http requests to find out if the browser is FireFox or Internet Explorer before they do the injection. Bogus user agents and/or NULL user agents remain unaffected by Globe. If you use Firefox, simply download the User Agent Switcher Plugin. For users of IE on Windows XP, you can edit your registry key appropriately: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent

I spent quite some time researching this issue on the internet with very little information returned. Hopefully this will help others who have noticed the same anomaly on their web pages.

I have confirmed that Smart Bro users are unaffected. I have also noticed that the script does not load on Facebook. If you know of other websites where this script does not load, please let me know. I would also love to know if Globe DSL users are affected.

6 Responses to Circling the Globe

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