October 19, 2007

Net Neutrality Violation Smoking Gun? Comcast Blocking File Sharing of the Bible?

Greetings. According to an Associated Press item replete with an unusual amount of technical details, AP testing of file sharing, using a controversial media file known as "The Bible" (yes, that Bible), has strongly suggested that Comcast is using blocking technologies to impede file sharing even of limited size, completely copyright-free materials. You can read the details yourself.

What's particularly noteworthy about this story is that Comcast is so far refusing to explain what's going on -- further fueling suspicions that something far more insidious than unintentional technical glitches are involved. In fact, the sporadic nature of the reported results suggests that the particular (in this case, religious!) content wasn't specifically the target of "traffic shaping" or blocking, but rather that certain classes of traffic in general are being distorted in various ways by this ISP, probably by technologies that Comcast insists they "rarely reveal" for various reasons. Uh huh.

It also demonstrates how end users can usefully contribute toward a better understanding of the state of the network and operational network neutrality (please see: Proposal for Breaking the Internet Network Neutrality Deadlock for more on this aspect).

Additional information and clarifications regarding the Comcast situation in particular would of course be welcome.


Blog Update (October 23, 2007): Comcast Admits Interfering with Internet Traffic

Posted by Lauren at October 19, 2007 09:40 AM | Permalink
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