backtop


Print 48 comment(s) - last by Hacp.. on Oct 27 at 12:23 AM

ISP Giant Compares Its Filtering with a Busy Signal

Lawyers and privacy groups are reportedly “circling the waters” over Comcast, who stands accused of using an aggressive kind of traffic shaping that impersonates individual P2P users and compels their computers to automatically disconnect.

Comcast’s actions are perfectly permissible under the terms of use described in its contract with customers, which states that Comcast reserves the right to “refuse to upload, post, publish, transmit or store any information or materials, in whole or in part, that, in (its) sole discretion, is … undesirable or in violation of (the) agreement.”

However, many are concerned that Comcast’s actions with regards to BitTorrent traffic – that is, impersonating users’ computers – may not entirely be legal as many states have laws regarding impersonation. In the state of New York, for example, section 190.25 of the penal code describes the crime of “criminal impersonation in the second degree,” in which one may not “[pretend] to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act … with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another.”

While legal grounds may be shaky at this point, the EFF has reported that it has received numerous calls from various firms that are considering legal action.

Meanwhile, Comcast has adjusted its response. The original response, says Brad Stone of The New York Times, seems to have caught Comcast’s PR department off-guard. The new response reads, “Comcast does not block access to any Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent … we have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that they can continue to enjoy these applications.”

The reality, however, is more complicated says Stone. Speaking on anonymity, a Comcast internet executive told The New York Times that Comcast was indeed manipulating traffic, through data management technologies designed to conserve bandwidth. As part of that process, the company will attempt to delay P2P traffic to preserve other users’ quality of service. He described the process as being akin to the busy signal in a phone call: users are perfectly able to hang up and try again later.

“In cases where peer to peer file transfers are interrupted,” writes Stone, “the software automatically tries again, so the user may not even know Comcast is interfering.”



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

How everyone is missing the real story.
By jburger on 10/23/2007 9:28:26 PM , Rating: 5
Do a quick search on google going back time and look at how comcast's 'packet shaping' has been directly targeting vonage customers in exactly the same way. You can search for comcast and vonage and see it covers the last 2 years or so.

Why doesn't some sharp reporter get ahold of the REAL story on how Comcast, while promoting their own "Comcast Voice" VOIP service, has been directly sabotaging competitors VOIP to gain market share.





By teckytech9 on 10/24/2007 4:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure that every sharp IP tester on this planet is sitting there with an IP Packet Sniffer and mapping out the traffic shaping algorithms used by Comcast. What I have a big problem with is the "Masquerading" and "Impersonating" of users computers in any way shape or form. What gives Comcast the legal right to do this?

As for the new Digital Voice Service, this is a way for them to increase the monthly price of phone service at a rate greater than what the regulated entities would allow for and have them get way with. Yes, after the promo offer ends, the price increases substantially. Its too bad to see POTS with Circuit Switched Technology disappearing (metered/measured rate service) altogether.

IMO traffic shaping is implemented when network capacity approaches 80% or more, average peak busy hour. Who will order Comcast to increase their network capacity (i.e. light up some OC-192's,DWDM's) when they refuse, knowing it will cost them excess operating income at the cost of poor service?


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

Related Articles
Comcast Screws with File-Sharing Traffic
October 19, 2007, 8:07 PM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki