CHICAGO (CN) – Comcast lied when it promised customers “unfettered access to the Internet,” because it censors peer-to-peer file sharing without the customers’ knowledge, says a class action in Cook County, comparing Comcast’s clandestine “reset packets” to “those used by totalitarian governments to censor the Internet.”
Comcast promised “unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer,” and that it “does not block access to any Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services,” the complaint states. It adds: “These and other similar statements by Comcast are patently false.
“Comcast intentionally blocks its customers from using peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) file-sharing and other Internet applications, or otherwise impedes those applications, and it does so in a deceptive manner – by impersonating the computers of users attempting to share files. Comcast forges what are known as ‘reset packets,’ making it appear as if they are coming from one of the computers attempting to file-share. The forged reset packets tell the transmitting computer to stop its transmission. …
“Comcast’s clandestine techniques are similar to those used by totalitarian governments to censor the use of the Internet. No doubt Comcast would characterize the behavior as illegal and malicious hacking if perpetrated by others on Comcast and its customers.”
Plaintiffs are represented by Kenneth Brennan with Simmons Cooper of East Alton.
A similar class action has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Plaintiffs in that case also are represented by Simmons Cooper.