back to article US court rules FCC can't ban BitTorrent busting

A US federal appeals court has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal power to "regulate an Internet service provider's network management practices." On Wednesday, a three-judge panel with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously vacated the 2008 FCC order that …


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  1. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Religious Wars

    "This, we would argue, was Comcast's biggest crime: it was fiddling with net connections without telling users it was doing so. But the point was lost amidst the ongoing religious war over net neutrality."

    Thank Heaven, if you'll excuse the expression, for the "ongoing religious war". Comcast did the dirty deeds in a time when the only Religious Crime was stopping somebody from trying to make money. If there was an honest profit to be made in Soylent Green the acolytes saw no problem.

  2. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    One more time...

    "And nobody was suprised."

  3. James Woods

    in a perfect world

    When these corporations want to play by their own moral handbook as far as how the internet should be provided then if the time ever comes for them to need anything from the government I would say deny it.

    If you look at the banking industry that we had that fell in the toliet, a large part of that still slaps you in the face today when you walk into your local bank and see the large community reinvestment act plastic signs. Our government forced banks to make loans to people that could not afford it.

    Now in this instance, government; on behalf of the people tried to force these isps to be neutral. If I recall correctly, if an ISP is fiddling with it's traffic the ISP is then accountable for the traffic since it's picking and choosing what it wants.

    Joe Shmoe doesn't seem to understand what net neutrality means. I hear the locals on talk radio railing against it but you can be assured if Comcast and Verizion and the other corporate thugs with lobbyists don't like something then it's probably something we need.

    I can't see any of this helping UUnet or Comcast get any new peering deals. Comcast is already starting to gain about as much credibility as Cogent in providing connectivity to large business.

    What's going to happen when Verizon, Comcast, and the others come to the tax payers for bailouts. Will they be deemed to big too fail? I think so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forget one simple fact

      The Government (us) paid for the internet. We paid universities and laid the copper to many places under government funds. Or maybe you are saying that... just very quietly.

    2. Quxy

      But they PAID for those Congressmen...

      Unfortunately, events of the past few years have splendidly demonstrated that big money (big comms, big pharma, big banking, whatever) OWNS the legislative branch of the USG. Unless there is some radical change that cuts off the cash flow to Congress, there'll never be any real consideration there of benefit to taxpayers, only about how the pie gets divided up among the biggest contributors. The FCC may be a regulatory agency in name, but as Julius is finding, it has been effectively defanged over the course of the past few decades.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "If you look at the banking industry that we had that fell in the toliet, a large part of that still slaps you in the face today when you walk into your local bank and see the large community reinvestment act plastic signs. Our government forced banks to make loans to people that could not afford it."

      Unfortunatly I don't think the banks can win on this one. The banks in the UK are being slated for not lending as much as they used to and being more risk averse than they were, where as in the US they are being forced to lend...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corporate Whores of Amerikkka

    This fu**king country is going commercial and private everything. In my state (Arizona) they are thinking about privatizing just about everything they can. Soon we will have Blackwater cops everywhere.

    I don't expect the 5 corporate whores of the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the FCC. I can only hope Alito and Roberts shoot themselves in the head with their guns. Seriously.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      America the free

      "This fu**king country is going commercial and private everything."

      What? It has always been that way. It is the Capitalist system and it is what has made America the greatest and best country in the world. Only liberals, stinking Commies and terrorists think otherwise and they will not be happy until America is chewing the dirt under the heel of the UN police.

      Live free, or die a socialist.

      [The above does not reflect my personal opinion, it is what I understand to be the world view of a typical septic]

      1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

        Live free, or die a socialist.

        I live free, /and/ will die a socialist. It's grand. As to the "world view of a typical septic," they wouldn't have their freedom if my countrymen didn't die defending it! (And that of many other now socialist countries as well.)

        Insert other truths here that enrage the "typical septic." (Assuming here "typical septic" means "republican.")

        With all this "people dying in mining accidents, not due to worker negligence but instead due to mining company refusing to meet safety standards, (instead feeling paying the fine if anyone died was cheaper,)" I would love to get the opinions of these "typical septics" on things like unions, socialism etc. Funny how they think they are such terrible things; I guess people's lives aren't worth interrupting the profit motive.

        I hold union men who died trying to earn a better life for themselves up even higher than those who died on the battlefield. As I am a base rat born and raised; that should say something. I hold soldiers in some pretty high esteem as well.

        Anyways, what was the topic again? I seem to have meandered off course a little…

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Reality vs Ideology

    Existing technology and actual implementation in the field does not support this utopian "net neutrality" that is such a popular topic nowadays.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Don't see why not

      Before you say bandwidth... Allow each user up to their allocated bandwidth. In times of heavy use, this is obviously lower as the total bandwidth is shared out. Then allow each user to use their bandwith for what they want (legally).

      If someone's kid wants to spend their time twittering to friends, fine. Soemone else wants to watch TV catch-up. Someone else VOIP. Sitting in the dark, someone is downloading Linux.

      In what way can't technology handle this?

      Knowing the load on your network - OK.

      Knowing the usage of each user - OK.

      Limiting the usage of a user in a non-discriminatory way - OK.

      Ideally for QOS, the user's own end equipment will notice the available BW and adjust what services use it (depending on what the user wants), or the user has to do it manually.

  6. Eden


    So this ISP basically disconnects any kind of P2P or bit torrent connection?

    So that's every single WOW player moving to a new ISP for a start....

    Many games are using P2P style tech to distribute patches etc now.

    not to mention tonnes of other pefectly legit applications and uses for the technology, idiots.

    I'd say vote with your buck and get another ISP but I know that's not always possible (Contracts, lack of competitors, competitors doing the SAME DAMN THING etc...)

    1. JimC

      >vote with your buck...

      Good idea: if all the bandwidth hoggers got off my ISP the performance would go way up...

      Obviously blocking traffic and NOT telling your customers is poor, bordering on criminal behaviour, but ISPS should be able to compete on which services they offer, and no peer to peer etc so the links and contention ratios are superior and so I'm not subsidising the pirates would be a selling point to me.

  7. mhenriday

    Once again bad news from the US

    regarding the struggle between net users and their IDPs - Internet Disservice Providers - over who shall have the right to determine the manner in which the internet is used. We can only hope that the US Congress passes legislation sufficient to make it clear to even justices on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the FCC does possess the necessary regulatory power. Anybody care to make a wager ?...


  8. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Apparently they stopped...

    I'm in the UK but the same principle applies: I expect to get from my Internet service provider what is offered and what I pay for, and what is offered, apparently, is an equal share of the ISP's total Internet bandwidth to transmit and receive by any Internet protocol I choose to any Internet server in the world, with some unarguable legal exceptions such as Internet Watch Foundation targets and Russian mafia hackers.

    Thus when internet service providers, mine or others, complain publicly that BBC online media that I use, for instance, is a large proportion of traffic over their network: I AM PAYING THEM TO CARRY BBC TRAFFIC OVER THEIR NETWORK. THAT IS WHAT THEY UNDERTAKE TO DO FOR ME. THAT IS WHAT THE MONTHLY BILL IS FOR. NOW SHUT UP, I AM WATCHING "OVER THE RAINBOW".

    (Actually, "Doctor Who", but I don't want to admit that and have people think I'm gay.)

    Anyway, my contract has a monthly quota.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Dr. What?

      "(Actually, "Doctor Who", but I don't want to admit that and have people think I'm gay.)"

      But comments like that may lead people to conclude you are homophobic.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        "Over the Rainbow" a contest to find an actress to play "Dorothy" in "The Wizard of Oz". Graham Norton is the presenter and I'm given to understand that John Barrowman wanted to get his hands on Graham's part, but Graham beat off John and now can be seen eyeing up the prodigious seat of Lord Anthony Lloyd-Webber on Saturday evenings. Do I go too far?

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          ...Andrew Lloyd Webber, of course.

          My apology to Anthony Lloyd Webber for embarrassment caused. And, moderator: you're theyone who gets sued (q.v.) Ha-ha.

  9. Dazed and Confused

    Biggest crime

    Comcasts biggest crime was difinetly that they were spoofing network packets from their customers. They were inserting into the data stream packets that the customers computer had not sent.

    I'm amazed that no one has used this as a defence against any claimed wrong doing on the internet.

    "But you sent these lan packets".

    "No, your honor, it weren't me"

    "But only your PC can send packets from your IP addresses"

    "No, your honor, my ISP can and they do routinely send packets claiming they came from me. They have the ability to have sent these packets, can the prosecution prove that it was me and not my ISP that sent these packets?"

    Errrrrrrrr no.

    Case dismissed, Have a nice day y'all

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How many hours before Comcast put the block back in place??

    Or have they already??

    That would explain why I have been unable to find the latest episodes of my fav US TV programs in English this week, only in French and Italian.

    (One not yet broadcast here and one only available on a channel I cannot receive).

  11. Donn Bly
    Thumb Up

    On the other side of the coin...

    .. now all of the ISP's that block port 25 outgoing traffic to prevent the spread of spam from their residential, dynamic IP customers can now do so legally without fear of government retribution. Prior to this ruling, blocking such traffic was a technical violation of the net neutrality edict, and while every sane person agrees that it is justified, it is still a violation of "net neutrality"

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      No thanks!

      My mail server says that blocking port 25 is not justified.

      (Sorry, we still use email; we haven't caught up with the Facebook generation yet)

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