Comcast blocks Tor


#1

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#2

this is both disappointing and unsurprising. i do wonder if there’s a secret order from a fisa court stimulating this though.


#3

FWIW, Comcast denies it.


#4

The government doesn’t like Tor. Comcast blocks it in return for…?


#5

I thought all the three-letter-agencies used Tor. I mean, not that I would know, but isn’t that the scuttlebutt? Woe be unto the field agent embedded in a work environment with Comcast as the ISP.


#6

Furthermore, here’s another denial from Comcast. I hate 'em as much as the next guy, but in my experience they don’t really bother you if you don’t bother them. (I say this as a guy who runs a web and SMTP server at home on my Comcast connection, use ssh and sometimes shove gigs through it daily, and used to run a Tor relay for a few months a year ago.)


#7

If Comcast does not monitor its users’ browsing, then how does the copyright alert system work? Are they providing their customers’ browsing data to a third party?


#8

Well that’s just metadata. They don’t actually watch the movie with you.

As for TOR, there’s no way to distinguish one encrypted packet from another except by the metadata. So they probably have a list of TOR nodes, and notice who’s talking to them. Also, if I recall, aren’t TOR packets routed through multiple nodes? That would be pretty easy to detect.


#9

And more of the same through Ars:

Comcast calls rumor that it disconnects Tor users “wildly inaccurate”

Ars is doing a little checking of its own, and is finding the story dubious so far. I’d call this particular news item a bit of a crock.


#10

But I want them to. I’m lonely and I made way too much popcorn. Also I’m a bit cold. Can they snuggle right up next to me?


#11

Days like this, I am thankful that I no longer live in a city in which I am forced to deal with Comcast. They can go straight to hell.


#12

I call BS. I run an exit node FFS, and I notified them I’d be doing so. They reminded me of the ToS section regarding servers, thanked me for notice, and asked what email they could forward abuse complaints too.

If this were a new corp policy, they doubtless would have gotten hold of me by now.


#13

Well, the story is based on an interaction with a CSR. The CSR could just have been full of shit.


#14

But it scores so high on the truthiness index.

Honestly, even if it isn’t it true, I want Comcast to know exactly what it would feel like if it were true.

And as always, remember! It doesn’t count as a freedom of speech violation if a private entity does it! It’s a pat little loophole that pretty much explains why the right wingers loooove business so much.


#15

Well, at least one – the NRL – is credited for inventing it.


#16

True. Equally so could the “customers” in the story have been. It’s all pretty much hearsay so far.


#17

I’ve seen some discussion on sites like /., and I think the hyperbole is high with this one… I’m thinking “CSR makes a statement and it spirals viral to the land of BS” for the time being.

Remember, BB is a blog site, not a news site :slight_smile:


#18

I initially believed the story - as others say, it has a high ‘truthiness’ level in re Comcast. But I dug into it a bit - I couldn’t find the reddit/r/darknetmarkets post which was alleged to be the source, only secondary reports. Ditto on reddit/r/tor, and other appropriate fora.

I have Comcast. Last night I fired up Tor, and did a bit of random websurfing - no sign of blockage.

Assuming the alleged call did happen, my suspicion is that the alleged ‘customer rep’ may have been a fake engaged in a social engineering attack, since he seemed anxious to get the callee to 'fess up to which sites he’d been accessing with Tor. Perhaps a clueless LEO or PI.

The denials I’ve seen from Comcast seem (for once) to be sincere.


#19

Yeah, the “quote” from the CSR obviously isn’t; this could all be a stupid misunderstanding on one or more people’s parts, assuming the story is “true” (in the sense of actually being based on real interactions between customer and CSR) and not just a random fabrication.


#20

Exactly. I look at it this way: from what I’ve been seeing (I’m not American, so I have no direct experience), Comcast has done enough that can be substantiated enough to hoist them on their own petard that stories based on hearsay are really unnecessary.