Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Comcast really *is* horking your connection

<img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/2495686605_5f31c31cbf_m.jpg” width=”192” height=”240” alt=”Comcastic” / align=”right” hspace=”10” border=”1”>I saw this article from the Associated Press today. It is confirmation that Comcast really does mess with the connection of people using bittorrent quite commonly. We’ve known for a while that they mess with traffic but there has been the question of how often they do it. From the article:

A study based on the participation of 8,175 Internet users around the world found conclusive signs of blocked file-sharing connections only at three Internet service providers: Comcast and Cox in the U.S. and StarHub in Singapore. Of the 788 Comcast subscribers who participated in the study, 491, or 62 percent, had their connections blocked. At Cox, 82 out of 151 subscribers, or 54 percent, were blocked, according to Krishna Gummadi at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbruecken, Germany. Philadelphia-based Comcast is the country's second-largest ISP, with 14.1 million subscribers. Atlanta-based Cox Communications is the fourth-largest, with 3.8 million. It is part of privately held Cox Enterprises Inc. [...] Apart from Comcast and Cox, Gummadi found signs of interference at seven other U.S. ISPs, all of them cable companies. But the number of blocked connections was too low to conclusively say their subscribers are being targeted, and Gummadi withheld the names of the ISPs.

The real surprise here, at least in one sense, was the issue with Cox.

You know, I work from home a couple of days a week for my job. When I’m doing that, I used VOIP technology to participate in meetings, make calls, and for people to be able to call me. I also use filesharing from time to time for my work in order to get things like linux distributions (I did this with Fedora 9 just yesterday) for my job. Net Neutrality is an important issue. One of the main reasons that the Internet has done so well over the last 20 years is because companies have not, as a rule, screwed with the traffic on their networks, especially that being passed through from others. This is really at a risk now and has the potential to really change the dynamic on the net over the next twenty years.