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Richard Bennett

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A Google monopoly today means packet snooping tomorrow

Now that America’s lawmakers have repaired the world economy, they can turn their attention to more mundane matters, such as saving the Internet. There’s an inherent conflict between traditional notions of personal privacy and the Internet’s emerging goldmine, targeted advertising. Other than the subscription fees that carriers …
Richard Bennett, 29 Jun 2009
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Google hints at the End of Net Neutrality

Updated Network Neutrality, the public policy unicorn that's been the rallying cry for so many many on the American left for the last three years, took a body blow on Sunday with the Wall Street Journal's disclosure that the movement's sugar-daddy has been playing both sides of the fence. The Journal reports that Google "has approached …
Richard Bennett, 15 Dec 2008
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BitTorrent net meltdown delayed

The internet's TCP/IP protocol doesn't work very well. As the internet's traffic cop, it's supposed to prevent applications from overloading the network, but it's at a loss when it comes to managing P2P applications. This deficiency, generally known to network engineers but denied by net neutrality advocates, has been a central …
Richard Bennett, 05 Dec 2008
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Bittorrent declares war on VoIP, gamers

Gamers, VoIP and video conference users beware. The leading BitTorrent software authors have declared war on you - and any users wanting to wring high performance out of their networks. A key design change in the P2P application promises to make the headaches faced by ISPs so far look like a party game. So what's happened, and …
Richard Bennett, 01 Dec 2008
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Why the US faces broadband price hikes

Comment Peer-to-peer file sharing just got a lot more expensive in the US. The FCC has ordered Comcast to refrain from capping P2P traffic, endorsing a volume-based pricing scheme that would “charge the most aggressive users overage fees” instead. BitTorrent, Inc. reacted to the ruling by laying-off 15 per cent of its workforce, while …
Richard Bennett, 02 Sep 2008
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Everyone's a winner in the Comcast - BitTorrent detente

Analysis So Comcast will stop shaping peer-to-peer seeding sessions with spoofed TCP RST commands. I caught up with the cable giant's CTO Tony Werner on Thursday for more details. The move should delight the company's critics. These innocent control packets have been compared to identity theft, to collusion with dictatorial regimes, and …
Richard Bennett, 31 Mar 2008
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Cool Rules for the FCC: In the Lions's Den

Opinion Testifying as an expert witness on bandwidth management at the FCC's field hearing in snowy Cambridge this Monday was a heady experience. The hearing took place in a cramped corner of the Harvard Law School, a building that was already decorated with pickets, banners, and reporters when I arrived. Gingerly stepping through the …
Richard Bennett, 28 Feb 2008
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Hogging the Trough: The EFF Strikes Back

The FCC is to investigate Comcast's network management practices. Last month here I gave an expert view on how the EFF, and other campaigners who called for an inquiry, don't understand the problems. Now Peter Eckserley, a copyright academic at the EFF, has responded to my article. Let's recap the story first. To avoid …
Richard Bennett, 23 Jan 2008
globalisation

Dismantling a Religion: The EFF's Faith-Based Internet

The Electronic Frontier Foundation likes to portray the internet as under attack. But the activist group is doing more to imperil its future than any of its favourite targets. The latest salvo in the utopians' war is a report on Comcast's traffic management policies. It's an amazingly conflicted piece of work, bristling with …
Richard Bennett, 13 Dec 2007
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Harold and Kumar go to Comcastle

Comment The coalition of the frustrated who comprise Save the Internet! have filed a multi-trillion dollar complaint with the FCC regarding Comcast's blatant exercise of, um, reasonable network management. The key fact seems to be this: if you live in a dream world of secret manipulative forces, evil wizards, fire-breathing dragons, …
Richard Bennett, 06 Nov 2007