Comcast Censors some Internet Applications

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Tom Keating
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Comcast Censors some Internet Applications

Last week I ranted about censorship of the word "God" in a promotion of The Ten Commandments movie of all things. Today, I'm going to continue that theme with an unbelievable story of how Comcast is blocking BitTorrent, a popular P2P sharing network.  According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Comcast is performing packet forging which causes the connection between two BitTorrent nodes to reset.

What's particularly troublesome about Comcast's packet forging is that customers have no idea what is causing the connection problems. It is believed that Comcast is using Sandvine to generate these reset packets. Apparently, other apps, such as Lotus Notes, are caught in the crossfire of this packet blocking. You can debate whether or not P2P networks have any legitimate uses, but there is something truly insidious when your ISP starts injecting forged packets into your Internet communications. What if Comcast decides that VoIP uses too much bandwidth and starts causing packet resets or outright blocks VoIP packets being sent to Vonage's network or any other VoIP service provider?

I'm usually all for a government hands-off, no intrusion policy, and let the free market decide, however, there are times when the government needs to intervene - especially in situations where a near monopoly exists. ISPs are often in a near monopoly position, with customers often only having one, perhaps two broadband ISP choices. So perhaps now is the time to revisit the need for Net Neutrality?

Or we could just do what a ticked off 75-year old woman did and drive to Comcast's office, hammer-in-hand, and smash the place.

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