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EFF Strikes Back Against ISP Interference

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped up its criticism of traffic shaping practices by Comcast and others with a new initiative aimed at broadband customers.

Anyone who has recalled the line from the 1976 movie ‘Network‘ – "I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!" – understands the frustration of having Internet service that has been tweaked by the Internet service provider to stymie peer to peer traffic.

The EFF isn’t happy about this either.

They have added a little whipped cream to their sundae of complaints regarding the business of interfering with how people use their Internet connections.

The Test Your ISP project at EFF helps people understand if their providers may be fiddling with Internet traffic.

Detecting packet injection takes a little technical savvy, but when conducted properly will show if the ISP has been dropping packets into one’s connections.

"This recent interference by Comcast in their subscribers’ Internet communications is a cause for grave concern," said EFF Staff Technologist Peter Eckersley. "It threatens the open Internet standards and architecture that have made the network such an engine of technical and economic innovation."

Hindering Internet traffic shifts what had been a neutral environment of people choosing what they want to participate in online to a model where the ISP treats its network as a chokepoint.

Comcast or others could use this power to arbitrarily determine what their customers can and cannot do with the service they purchase.

That would run counter to the design of the Internet, and the freedom that has led to the development of useful applications and services available to anyone who can connect to them.

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EFF Strikes Back Against ISP Interference
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  • Eugene K. Bruns

    I have a Hand Held Fujitsu Lifebook provided by the company I work for.  Usually the web is accessable very quickly when I uaw it to sync information.  However, when I switch to my personal computer it seems to take an unusual time to access the web.  The apartment owners email residents with bulletins, so I assume they have access to my personal business.  Is this legal?  How can I check to determine?  Please advise.