October 19 2007
It seems the story is much bigger than thought when Kevin Kanarski first wrote about it.
Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally.I can confirm that IBM Lotus tests, along with customer tests, indicate the same behavior in Notes/Domino uploads. A TCP reset is introduced into the stream, one which does not originate from the Domino server. The effect is to terminate the upload/sending of data from the Notes client. The Notes/Domino engineering team attempted a workaround, but this was unsuccessful.
The interference, which The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests, is the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider. It involves company computers masquerading as those of its users. ...
Only uploads of complete files are blocked or delayed by the company, as indicated by AP tests.
But with "peer-to-peer" technology, users exchange files with each other, and one person's upload is another's download. That means Comcast's blocking of certain uploads has repercussions in the global network of file sharers.
Comcast's technology kicks in, though not consistently, when one BitTorrent user attempts to share a complete file with another user.
Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer -- it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: "Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye."
We are now tracking this issue as SPR# PAZR77TSW7. As it happens, I reached out to a contact at Comcast yesterday, someone I found through LinkedIn. By their title and job description, they sound like they could be helpful, but I've received no response as of yet. Unfortunately, the AP article hits the same brick wall as Kevin and others have -- Comcast denies doing anything, so how do you log an issue? Perhaps the increased visibility of today's story will help get us past this issue. Maybe some digging (digg this or the AP story) will get further attention.
Link: Associated Press: Comcast Blocks Some Internet Traffic > (Thanks, Irv)