The Atlantic

Avenging a One-Star Review With Digital Sabotage

A dispute over a garage-door opener shows just how much control manufacturers have over your internet-connected things.
Source: David Gray / Reuters

On Saturday, an unhappy customer vented online about an internet-connected garage-door opener he’d bought on Amazon. It was the sort of short, unremarkable comment that’s left thousands upon thousands of times a day by disgruntled shoppers who can’t get the gizmos they just brought home to work.

The device, Garadget, connects to existing garage-door hardware. It lets users remotely open and close their garage door from a smartphone, and alerts them whenever the garage is accessed.

“iPhone App will not stay open,” wrote Robert Martin (username: rdmart7) on Garadget’s official discussion board. “Wondering what kind of piece of shit I just purchased here…” For good measure, he hopped over to Garadget’s Amazon page, too, and left a

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