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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Comcast possibly in legal trouble for filtering method

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It's been widely reported by now that Comcast is throttling BitTorrent traffic. What has escaped attention is the fact that Comcast, like the Great Firewall of China uses forged TCP Reset (RST) packets to do the job. While the Chinese government can do what they want, it turns out that Comcast may actually be violating criminal impersonation statutes in states around the country. Simply put, while it's legal to block traffic on your network, forging data to and from customers is a big no-no.

Thought it was an interesting/amusing twist with the criminal impersonation statutes issue.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 11:05 AM
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Another reason I'm glad I don't have Comcast anymore..



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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 11:17 AM
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hmmmmmmmmm I have comcast and don't have any issues other then not being able to run a mail server at the house... lol but I guess I can understand that.



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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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It's not really the fact that they *are* throttling back torrent traffic....it's the method by which they're doing it that's potentially the issue.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 11:35 AM
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I see, well then sign me up on the class action law suit lol



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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 02:17 PM
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We just switched to Comcast (actually they bought out Time Warner here)...havent been too crazy with their service since. Been 2 months and they cant even get my comcast.net email address set up. For such a big company you think they'd could take care of the little stuff with ease but I guess not.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 02:48 PM
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Ya there customer service sucks ass.... I have had a few problems here with that when moving accounts for our staff.



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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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...and here it is. Comcast just got themselves sued over this.

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Comcast has been sued by a California resident for blocking BitTorrent and other traffic. 'John Hart describes himself as a Comcast customer who has seen performance hits when using "Blocked Applications" targeted by Comcast's traffic management application, Sandvine. In his complaint, Hart says that Comcast severely limits "the speed of certain internet applications such as peer-to-peer file sharing and lotus notes [sic]." Comcast accomplishes this by "transmitting unauthorized hidden messages" to the PCs of those using the applications.' The lawsuit comes on the heels of an FCC complaint over the same issue.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2007, 11:44 PM
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Where do I join in....... .



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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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hahaha... :pwnd
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 08:54 AM
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No kidding.. sign me up! I have Cox and I know they throttle my upload traffic. Buncha bullshit


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 06:46 AM
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I don't have an issue with throttling bandwidth per se, it is needed to some extent. If we let everyone download and upload at full speed, the network would slow to a crawl.

However, Comcast is going beyond throttling here, and actually sending spoofed messages to your computer telling it a connection is dropped, when in fact it isn't.

I used to work for Comcast, about 4 years ago. I started as a level 1 tech answering phones, then got moved up to level 2 (advanced issues). Later I moved into one of the NOC depeartments, where we rarely dealed with customers (we'd get a call saying the Presidents brother in law needs help, and other friends of powerful people), we mostly dealt with tech's in the field and monitoring for outages. Comcast did have issues, they were slow to respond to problems, didn't send someone until problems affected "enough" people. They even told us we couldn't have a male voice record the "outages" message (when you call in and it tells you where Comcast knows of issues), because they didn't sound as friendly as women. This was an issue on the night shift, as we only had 1 female in our department. We had to ask cleaning people or non tech staff to read the script when it needed updating overnight.. sheesh.


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well, now they're getting investigated by the FCC for all this idiocy. This ought to be fun to watch. :

from /.:

Quote:
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Tuesday that the commission will investigate complaints that Comcast actively interferes with Internet traffic as its subscribers try to share files online. A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars asked the agency in November to stop Comcast from discriminating against certain types of data and to fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber. While known for months in tech circles, the issue wasn't given broad attention until an Associated Press report last year, in which reporters tested and verified the data blocking.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 12:38 PM
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:22 AM
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/03/27/c...ent/index.html

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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Comcast Corp., an Internet service provider under investigation for hampering online file-sharing by its subscribers, announced Thursday an about-face in its stance and said it will treat all types of Internet traffic equally.

Since user reports of interference with file-sharing traffic were confirmed by an Associated Press investigation in October, Comcast has been vigorously defending its practices, most recently at a hearing of the Federal Communications Commission in February.

Consumer and "Net Neutrality" advocates have been equally vigorous in their attacks on the company, saying that by secretly blocking some connections between file-sharing computers, Comcast made itself a judge and gatekeeper for the Internet.

They also accused Comcast of stifling delivery of Internet video, an emerging competitor to the cable company's core business.

Comcast has said that its practices were necessary to keep file-sharing traffic from overwhelming local cable lines, where neighbors share capacity with one another. On Thursday, Comcast said that by the end of the year, it will move to a system that manages capacity without favoring one type of traffic over another.

"This means that we will have to rapidly reconfigure our network management systems, but the outcome will be a traffic management technique that is more appropriate for today's emerging Internet trends," Tony Werner, Comcast's chief technology officer, said in a statement.

The company initially veiled its traffic-management system in secrecy, saying openness would allow users to circumvent it. But on Thursday, Werner said the company would "publish" the new technique and take into account feedback from the Internet community.

Comcast has been hampering the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol, which together with the eDonkey protocol, accounts for about a third of all Internet traffic, according to figures from Arbor Networks. The vast majority of that is illegal sharing of copyright-protected files, but file-sharing is also emerging as a low-cost way of distributing legal content -- in particular, video.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing "has matured as an enabler for legal content distribution," Werner said. "So we need to have an architecture that can support it with techniques that work over all networks."

Comcast now says it is in talks with BitTorrent Inc., the company founded by the creator of the protocol, to come up with better ways to transport large files over the Internet. The companies said they want to work out these issues privately, without the need for government intervention.

FCC commissioners have indicated that they take the issue seriously, and commission Chairman Kevin Martin has voiced objections to secret traffic management.

For its part, BitTorrent acknowledged that service providers have to manage their networks somehow, especially during peak times.

"While we think there were other management techniques that could have been deployed, we understand why Comcast and other ISPs adopted the approach that they did initially," Eric Klinker, BitTorrent's chief technology officer, said in a statement.

Verizon Communications Inc. two weeks ago announced the results of a collaboration project with Pando Networks, another file-sharing company. By sharing information with Pando, Verizon was able to speed up file-sharing downloads for its subscribers while reducing the strain on its own network.

AT&T Inc., the country's largest Internet service provider, has been looking at similar collaboration.

However, phone companies are in a better position than cable companies to deal with file-sharing traffic, since neighbors don't share capacity on phone lines.

Time Warner Cable is experimenting with another way of managing traffic, placing explicit caps on the monthly downloads for new customers in Beaumont, Texas. Subscribers who go over their allotment will pay extra, much like a cell-phone subscriber who uses too many minutes in a month


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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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Long live BT.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:34 PM
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:53 PM
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:04 PM
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nope
Comcast was slowing down all Peer-to-peer traffic on it's network, which is somewhat common, but they took it a step further and starting sending packets to their customers saying the connection was reset. This made a torrent download very, very slow, like 2kb/s instead of 400 or so.
This pissed off alot of people, there are plenty of legal P2P files on the net, and Comcast was interfering with those companies ability to do business. It also affected other unintended programs, which got even more people pissed off.

This whole situation reingited a debate about network neutrality. Most users, and alot of companies, feel all traffic on the internet should be handled the same. So for example AOL shouldn't slow down traffic of a competitor, block access to certain types of content unless you buy a premium package. The ISP's want to be able to do just that, look at what type of traffic your are sending back and forth, and discriminate based on that. So Comcast might allow a movie purchased from itunes to play smoothly if they have a contract with itunes, but might make a video from Time warner go very slow.

So after the FCC got a lot of complaints, they launched an investigation. Comcast tried to scare them off by claiming the FCC had no jurisdiction. Then they apparently came to an agreement with the company that invented the bittorrent protocol, to stop sending the reset packets that cause all the issues.
They will still be slowing down some traffic, but hopefully they will do this indiscriminately of what the type of traffic is. So you might still get slowed down, but it will be because you are using 10x as much bandwidth as anyone else in your neighbourhood, not because of WHAT you are downloading.

Hopefully that is a good summary.


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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 02:11 AM
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guess i need to get on board with the whole bit torrent thing....never used it.


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