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Net Neutrality... Seriously this Time

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1 Author(s)
Weitzner, D.J. ; Comput. Sci. & Artificial Intell. Lab., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA

The net neutrality debate began a few years ago, prematurely, with overheated rhetoric about potential disasters for the Internet but little in the way of real threats requiring immediate government action. Beginning around May 2007, one of the largest ISPs in the US, Comcast, began a program of discriminatory blocking of certain Internet communications protocols. The blocking has focused on BitTorrent and Gnutella peer-to-peer protocols but also included, for a time, Lotus Notes enterprise collaboration software traffic. Comcast hasn't disputed the blocking, and a variety of independent, although perhaps not entirely unbiased, investigations have verified it. So, for the first time in the Internet's modern history, we have selective discrimination against a particular type of traffic that's widely used and presumptively legal.

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 3 )