XMission's Company Journal

An ISP That Believes in the Constitution

Recent actions by American technology companies have been disappointing to watch. For 17 years of XMission’s operation, we have consistently fought for the freedom and privacy of our customers. On many occasions, our customers have been attacked by individuals or groups who disagreed with what they were saying
or publishing. Threats of legal action, unfounded claims of illegality and copyright, network attacks and demanding we agree with their judgment are all tactics that have been used over and over. I and the staff of XMission have turned back them all.

In addition, I have stood against attempts to censor or restrict the Internet by state and federal governments by advocating for the protection of the open Internet. In spite of my recent candidacy as a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, I have found overwhelming non-partisan support for keeping the fingers of government out of controlling, censoring, or monitoring the Internet.

Protecting American constitutional rights is not the same as harboring illegal activity. XMission has repeatedly cooperated with law-enforcement provided we are served with a proper warrant, signed by a judge, that is specific in demand. I do not support wholesale spying on my network, nor will I ever. I would rather shut down XMission than allow the government to use it as a tool for violating privacy otherwise guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment.

While some ISPs cower at threats, XMission stands against them. While some seek to control or censor the Internet, we fight to protect its freedom. Through transparency, there is accountability, and the Internet remains a unique technology for revealing despotic and despicable acts. It should be protected. As one of the few, if not the the only remaining American ISP that believes this, I ask you to consider our services and support XMission. If you are already an XMission customer, thank you.


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10 thoughts on “An ISP That Believes in the Constitution

  • Kris Magnusson says:

    As one of XMission’s first ten customers and having been privy to some of the machinations behind its inception, I know firsthand that Mr. Ashdown’s personal values, sharpened by his tenure at Evans & Sutherland, have made his ISP a bastion of freedom.

    I live near San Francisco now–have for nine years–and no ISP in the Bay Area is as stridently pro-freedom as XMission. This surprises me, because with all these UC Berkeley and Stanford students and alumni studying and practicing computer science activities, no one here has had the vision to build an ISP with similar values. The closest is, which is a great ISP like XMission, but without its well-defined value system. With XMission, Salt Lake City is lightyears ahead of any metropolitan area I know about. Consider yourselves lucky to have XMission in your area and on your side. If circumstances were different, I’d still be an XMission customer–and would probably have leased an OC-3 from them by now.

    Keep on rocking the Internet, Pete and XMission staff.

    Best Regards,
    Kris Magnusson

  • Matt k says:

    Thank you mission for all the things you have done for me as a customer. It is great to see one of the few companies in the US willing to actually stand for what they believe in even in the face of government.

  • I have been a customer of Xmission since the mid-1990’s. I have stayed with Xmission mainly because of their technical skills and good customer service. I can now add another reason for staying with Xmission. Pete Ashdown has professional ethics that I strongly support. I, too, don’t want to see the Internet used as if we were in an Orwellian 1984.

  • rob says:

    I <3 you guys.

  • Gerald Taber says:

    Having had the opportunity to work with Pete Ashdown in the early years, while he was with Evans & Sutherland and before XMission, I always was and continue to be impressed with the level of professionalism and continuity of logic that is woven into a fabric of noble-hood for what is right for all of society. Having been a customer of Xmission for years and utilizing their state of the art co-location services, while with the SLC City Weekly, I learned that their business and community leadership had been light years ahead of the competition for quite sometime. Xmission gives me hope that all the others who feel the same will continue to work together to keep the Internet FREE of Government control. With the FCC attempting to step in now and assert unfounded jurisdiction over how ISP’s manage their network’s, its the pioneer’s like Xmission that will continue to step up to the plate and make a difference.

  • Peter says:

    Well, it’s the lack of government control that is allowing the duopoplies to continue. Expand, really, when you see how QWest is steeling Xmission customers and cuttng Xmission out of the loop.

  • Marionh says:

    I first signed on to XMission in 1993 just to see what this Internet things was all about. I didn’t have a web browser, so I explored using the thingy Windows had at the time, primitive and time consuming to navigate. Since I had no clue what I was doing I didn’t stay on all that long, but I returned when my volunteer work gave me a good reason to be on the Internet I went back to XMission and have never found any reason to regret that decision, even though I’m one of those icky Conservative types.

    Keep fighting them, Pete. Don’t let the control freaks in our government win!

  • I’ve been an appreciative Xmission customer for over a decade, and fully support Pete’s efforts to oppose unwarranted government intrusion into private life. Giving government broad powers to pry has no place in a democracy, threats of terrorism notwithstanding. The constitutional prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure is one of our most important freedoms, and we surrender it at our peril. NO outside threat can justify its loss or diminishment.

  • Tom says:

    See the article in TIME from January 24, 2010 regarding Twitter on how most ISPs and tech companies comply with law enforcement requests to turn over customer records without requiring any warrant whatsoever. Verizon alone does this to 90,000 customers per year, and yet it is only one of thousands of service providers. Unfortunately, even if companies demand a warrant, those warrants are easy to obtain. Contrary to popular belief, most judges do not require probable-cause, or else they employ such a liberal, open interpretation of the concept that anything goes. The real test isn’t just whether a warrant is required, but whether each warrant is challenged to insure that it’s justified by real, substantive, probable cause. Lacking that, what’s happening now is that, based on the least suspicion, and even randomly, law enforcement trolls through your communications, activities, and internet searches looking for any suggestion of a crime, in what legal scholars decry as “fishing expeditions”.

    For decades, we’ve all been cheering for greater law-and-order, stirred to irrational fear and anger by news media that sensationalizes the trivial in order to hold our attention beyond the weather forecast, by dramas that have falsely persuaded us to believe that suspects have “too many rights”. We’ve been imbued with the ridiculous notion that we can create an ideal world by turning everything that displeases us into a crime. This monster is the result of that gullibility.

    Why do our service companies even preserve this information? Why do they retain all our emails after we’ve downloaded them? Why would Google go to the expense of storing a record of all your internet activity forever? Are they required by the government to do this? Or are they willingly complicit?

  • Richard B Leining says:

    This customer appreciates Xmission’s commitments to our security and privacy, and its spam filter keeping e-mail as a useful means of communication.