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posted by janrinok on Monday September 15 2014, @10:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-they-have-to-prove-that-you-are-doing-something-illegal-first? dept.

Business Insider reports that multiple users of anonymous web browser Tor have reported that Comcast has threatened to cut off their internet service unless they stop using the software. Comcast has reportedly begun telling users that it is an "illegal service." One Comcast representative, identified only as Kelly, warned a customer over his use of Tor software: "Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules." In a statement to Deepdotweb, Comcast defended its actions, seemingly asserting that it needs to be able to monitor internet traffic in case they receive a court order:

We respect customer privacy and security and would only investigate the specifics of a customer’s account with a valid court order. And if we’re asked by a court to provide customer information, then we ask for a reasonable amount of time to notify the customer so they can decide if they would like to hire a lawyer and if they do, then we turn the case over to them and they proceed with the judge directly and we step away.

24 hours later, and Comcast denies that it will cut off Tor users, or , as the article sub-title reads: "The Web Browser For Criminals". Comcast further claim that they have initiated an internal review to find out why the Comcast employee made the statement in the first instance. They state:

Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website or use it however they wish otherwise. Like virtually all ISPs, Comcast has an acceptable use policy or AUP that outlines appropriate and inappropriate uses of the service. Comcast doesn’t monitor users’ browser software or web surfing and has no program addressing the Tor browser. The anecdotal chat room evidence provided is not consistent with our agents’ messages and is not accurate. Per our own internal review, we have found no evidence that these conversations took place, nor do we employ a Security Assurance team member named Kelly. Tor’s own FAQs clearly state: 'File sharing (peer-to-peer/P2P) is widely unwanted on Tor' and 'BitTorrent is NOT anonymous' on Tor.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Monday September 15 2014, @10:56PM

    by frojack (1554) on Monday September 15 2014, @10:56PM (#93701) Journal

    In spite of stating they have no Security Assurance team member named Kelly, (your first clue the whole story was fabricated) and they deny it ever happened, and no one has shown even one credible shred of evidence that this ever happened, such as a screen shot or a log,

    YOU jump right in and STATE in your title that Comcast DID it, and compounded the offense by DENYING it. How dare anyone claim their innocent. Doesn't everyone know that denial is the first sure sign of Guilt?

    Then YOU state the BI reported Multiple Users making this claim when there was precisely ONE, and all their links pointed to that single posting.

    Why did you do this? Why didn't you do a little more research and post the story in a less one-sided way?

    If you need some help in this area read the coverage on Ars: http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/09/comcast-calls-rumor-that-it-disconnects-tor-users-wildly-inaccurate/ [arstechnica.com]
    or El Reg: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/15/comcast_were_not_blocking_tor_and_use_it_ourselves/ [theregister.co.uk]

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Nerdfest on Monday September 15 2014, @10:59PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Monday September 15 2014, @10:59PM (#93703)

    post the story in a less one-sided way?

    In their defence, this is Comcast we're talking about.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:02AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:02AM (#93749) Journal

      post the story in a less one-sided way?

      In their defence, this is Comcast we're talking about.

      Meaning, there is only one side, and it is dark, very dark.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:00PM (#94039)

      The other day I walked down a city street and heard someone screaming "You f**** asshole!" into their phone. I said to him, "Buddy, can you take your discussion with Comcast indoors?"

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Lagg on Monday September 15 2014, @11:15PM

    by Lagg (105) on Monday September 15 2014, @11:15PM (#93711) Homepage Journal

    This stuff is why I wish he would quit doing this or at least reply to comments on both sites that he cross posts on. Anyway, hopefully this doesn't get out of hand and dilute the plethora of other instances of calling comcast out on its asshattery.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15 2014, @11:18PM (#93712)

      The story isn't over yet. So far we have a he-said she-said where neither side has a reliable reputation to judge on and both sides have incentive to lie - the accusations come from someone with no particular record and the denials come from a company with a terrible record and a big-money PR team.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by dyingtolive on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:11AM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:11AM (#93754)

      I know. Why, think of the potential damage to the company's reputation!

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