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Comcast Finally Files Suit Against FCC Over Traffic Shaping 353

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hoping-for-mutual-destruction dept.
Following up on their threat last year to sue the FCC over sanctions imposed, Comcast has finally filed suit, stating that there are no statutes or regulations that support the FCC's authority to stop traffic shaping procedures. "First, let's recap: After months of proceedings, hearings, and investigations, the FCC concluded on August 1, 2008 that Comcast was discriminating against certain P2P applications using deep packet inspection techniques. These methods thwarted the ability of users to share video and other files via BitTorrent. 'Comcast was delaying subscribers' downloads and blocking their uploads,' declared then FCC Chair Kevin Martin. 'It was doing so 24/7, regardless of the amount of congestion on the network or how small the file might be. Even worse, Comcast was hiding that fact by making [affected] users think there was a problem with their Internet connection or the application.'"
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Comcast Finally Files Suit Against FCC Over Traffic Shaping

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  • Not traffic shaping! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:23PM (#29097083) Homepage Journal

    Following up on their threat last year to sue the FCC over sanctions imposed, Comcast has finally filed suit, stating that there are no statutes or regulations that support the FCC's authority to stop traffic shaping procedures.

    Traffic shaping is writing rules like "give ssh and http packets priority over ftp-data". This is good and something almost all ISP that care about good customer service already do. What Comcast was doing, aka packet forgery, was a deliberate attempt to disrupt certain types of transfer. NO good ISP does this, by definition.

  • Re:Republicans (Score:5, Informative)

    by dwiget001 (1073738) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:26PM (#29097117)
    On top of your great observation, the article blurb specifically states: "..."First, let's recap: After months of proceedings, hearings, and investigations, the FCC concluded on August 1, 2008 that Comcast was discriminating against certain P2P applications using deep packet inspection techniques...." Now, IIRC, we had a Republican administration in the White House at that time and a Democrat majority in the House and Senate. So, who was responsible for the August 1, 2008 conclusion by the FCC? Why, the Republican administration, of course. Sure, there may have been members of the House and Senate (various committees) that helped push or prod it along, but it was the Republican administration, which the FCC falls under, that gets the majority of the credit here. I believe the grand parent is a bit myopic.
  • Re:Republicans (Score:4, Informative)

    by ari_j (90255) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:32PM (#29097193)
    Yes. The Republican administration took regulatory action against Comcast's pervasive and dishonest traffic shaping, so it's very appropriate to snidely tell Republicans that they are idiots for ... well, apparently for not regulating enough. I honestly can't figure out what the OP is trying to get at. It's either some deep magic breed of sarcasm I'm not fluent in, plain stupid, or both.
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:38PM (#29097271) Homepage
    ... a Republican is a Democrat is a Politician ... they're all the same

    Lack of government regulation can be bad. Some government regulation is good. Massive amounts of government regulation is bad.

    who here disagrees?
  • Common Carriers (Score:4, Informative)

    by overshoot (39700) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:39PM (#29097283)

    Further, if they choose to make these decisions on "their network" then they should lose common carrier status. And while I admit I am not sure if they have this

    They don't.

  • !packet shaping (Score:5, Informative)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#29097491)
    That's all fine and dandy, except what Comcast was doing wasn't packet shaping. What they were doing was actively manipulating traffic (inserting reset flags onto P2P packets to disrupt connectivity). That's a big no-no that they should suffer for dearly.
  • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:00PM (#29097561) Homepage Journal

    Case in point: I work for an IT shop that supports many physicians offices. one of the primary methods of moving data between offices and hospitals is through EMR applications that USE FTP. Who is the ISP to tell me that my FTP traffic is less important than Disney's HTTP traffic?

    Yikes, what the fuck hospitals and doctors do you work for?

    Can we say major HIPAA violation? Clear text passwords, no data encryption for EMR?!?

    Jesus. At the shop I work at, SCP, IPSec ONLY, for all of our HIPAA-covered data (EMR, claim and benefits).

    Meh.

    We use plain FTP for stuff that's legally protected like that, we just make sure that everything on the ftp server is pgp/gpg encrypted.

  • by dsginter (104154) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:31PM (#29097919)

    We need governments. More to the point, if we didn't have them, we would create them.

    That is entirely the point of Common Sense (though I can see how my out of context quote can and most certainly be misconstrued). I should have posted the following, in addition:

    In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him to quit his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death; for, though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

    Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

  • Re:Republicans (Score:4, Informative)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:43PM (#29098027) Journal

    Comcast forges RST packets and intercept DNS requests using man in the middle attacks.

    To be fair, Comcast does allow you to opt out of the DNS redirection and they processed my request for this quite quickly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:12PM (#29099801)
  • by dissy (172727) on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:34PM (#29100383)

    Comcast could be free to throttle.

    This is what a lot of people, and comcast, are not seeing.
    No body at all (except comcast) has said they can't throttle!

    Comcast wants to be free to do 'thing A', because there are no laws against doing 'thing A'
    And they are right. And they CAN do 'thing A' and no one said otherwise.

    Problem is, comcast is actually doing 'thing B' which is totally different and unrelated.

    The FCC told them they can't do 'thing B' because it is not legal.
    Comcast replies "But but but, 'thing A' is legal! we should be able to do it!" as if that was relative to anything at all.

    Obviously, 'thing A' is traffic shaping and throttling. 'thing B' is packet forgery and spoofing.

  • by linuxrocks123 (905424) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:20PM (#29111583) Homepage Journal

    *sigh*, the persistence of belief in this dated misinformation is more than annoying.

    Please see http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36623 [slyck.com]

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