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Comcast 'hacking User Data Stream' Lawsuit Settlement.

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Note that in this article, The term 'slowing down traffic of file sharers', actually means Hacking the users data stream to insert a 'end transmission packet' to stop the file transfers. And last I heard, is that Hacking someones connection is still illegal.

Opt out to leave things open for another day. Most people are too lazy to spend another year or two in court, to watch and learn from a million users suing Comcast in single cases.

The way lobbyists are buying off politicians, theres always another crime, by an ISP, that will be committed against the users of the Internet.

Or does your particular ISP always blame the site that you are trying to use, for all slowdowns?

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/041510-critic-customers-should-reject-comcast.html?hpg1=bn

Comcast customers should reject a proposed settlement in a lawsuit filed against the broadband provider for throttling some Internet traffic, a critic of the company said Thursday.

The proposed settlement, announced last December, especially after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled this month that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission didn't have the authority to enforce its net neutrality principles on Comcast, said Robb Topolski, a veteran networking engineer who discovered Comcast's network management practices back in 2007.

Topolski, in a blog post, http://funchords.livejournal.com/432415.html called on Comcast customers to send a letter opting out of the settlement to the settlement administrator by May 13. Under the terms of the settlement, a Comcast customer who had used peer-to-peer software between April 2006 and December 2008 or used Lotus Notes to send e-mail between March and October 2007 would be entitled to a maximum of US$16.

"If people reject the settlement, they are freed from the restrictions of this settlement and can sue independently or join any other action," Topolski said in an e-mail. "If enough people reject the settlement, it sends a strong message that the class of people that this settlement was intended to represent are dissatisfied."

A Comcast spokeswoman declined to comment on Topolski's blog post.

Topolski has criticized the settlement previously, but the appeals court ruling against the FCC now means there's no regulatory agency to enforce net neutrality rules against broadband providers selectively throttling network traffic, he said.

"Comcast fought the law and the law lost," wrote Topolski, chief technologist for the Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation, a think tank that has supported net neutrality rules. "Turns out that there is no cop on the beat to prevent Comcast, or any other ISP, from again blocking you from the content, applications, or services of your choice!"

The $16 settlement amounts to a rebate of about $0.50 a month to Comcast customers who had their broadband services slowed, he said.

"For two and a half years, Comcast secretly attacked its own customers' communications by blocking peer-to-peer uploads and other traffic," Topolski wrote on his blog. "By secretly blocking traffic and hoping that you wouldn't notice, Comcast took back some of the service that you paid for. Rather than adding capacity as demand increased, Comcast dropped some of your traffic to make room for its very profitable new phone service and millions of new customers."

The settlement, before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, stems from a lawsuit filed by California Comcast subscriber Jon Hart in November 2007. Comcast has set aside $16 million for the settlement.

Topolski called the settlement inadequate. "If that tiny amount of money is compensation, then there is no penalty to Comcast for interfering with its customers, for failing to disclose it, for repeatedly lying about it, and for taking so long to stop it!" he wrote.

The Associated Press, in late 2007, reported that Comcast was slowing BitTorrent and some other traffic without telling its customers. Comcast first denied slowing traffic, then said it throttled some applications only during times of peak congestion. Studies from the FCC and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Germany contended that Comcast slowed BitTorrent traffic around the clock.

http://p2pcongestionsettlement.com/

There is a proposed Settlement of a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and has certified the Settlement Class. Similar lawsuits were filed and have been coordinated and transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

These lawsuits claim that Comcast promised and advertised specific speeds and unlimited Internet access but impaired use of some P2P file-sharing traffic on its High-Speed Internet network. Comcast denies these claims, but has revised its management of P2P and is settling to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation.

A description of the Settlement Class and the terms of the Settlement are available in the Settlement Notice posted on this site. A Claim Form can be submitted online or downloaded and printed and submitted via mail. You can also view Court Documents, including the Final Settlement Agreement, copies of pertinent Court orders and other court filings, and other information concerning the Settlement and the Lawsuit. Additional information can be obtained by calling toll-free 1-877-567-2754.

Comcast agrees to credit or refund some current or former High-Speed Internet service customers. Comcast agrees to pay up to $16 million dollars, less Settlement costs, to eligible Class Members. If you submit a valid Claim Form, you will receive a share of this amount, not to exceed $16.00. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by any party.

If you meet the eligibility requirements needed to be a Settlement Class Member, to obtain a payment you must complete and submit a Claim Form. You also have other options under the settlement as summarized below.

PLEASE READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE A SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBER AND YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS UNDER THE SETTLEMENT.

Summary of Your Rights and Choices:

Event: Legal Options Under the Settlement Due Date

File a Claim Submit a Claim Form

This is the only way for you to receive a credit or refund

payment from the Settlement. Postmarked by August 14, 2010

Exclude Yourself Get out of the Class

You may ask to get out of the Class and keep your right

to sue on your own about the claims in the lawsuit. Postmarked by May 13, 2010

Object to the

Settlement Object to or Comment on the Settlement

If you do not exclude yourself, you may appear and

speak at the Fairness Hearing on your own or through

your own lawyer to object or comment on the Settlement.

(Class Counsel has been appointed to represent you.) Postmarked by May 13, 2010

Do Nothing You remain in the Settlement.

You get no money or compensation and give up your

right to sue about the claims in the lawsuit. N/A

http://funchords.livejournal.com/432415.html

15 April 2010

Dear Fellow ‘Netizens,

I’m writing to urge Comcast subscribers to opt-out of the proposed P2P Congestion Settlement between Comcast Corporation and its customers (http://p2pcongestionsettlement.com/). There are huge problems with the deal, but it only takes you a minute to reject it.

For 2½ years, Comcast secretly attacked its own customers’ communications by blocking peer-to-peer uploads and other traffic. By secretly blocking traffic and hoping that you wouldn’t notice, Comcast took back some of the service that you paid for. Rather than adding capacity as demand increased, Comcast dropped some of your traffic to make room for its very profitable new phone service and millions of new customers.

Then Comcast got caught. Comcast noisily distracted and obfuscated while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a long investigation. Comcast ultimately got its wrist slapped. It was forced to disclose and forever stop the unlawful interference. But, in a twist, Comcast fought the law and the law lost; Comcast just beat the FCC in appeals court. Turns out that there is no cop on the beat to prevent Comcast, or any other ISP, from again blocking you from the content, applications, or services of your choice!

Customers did sue Comcast, and a class-action settlement is being offered. If the settlement prevails, you will get a maximum of $16 -- but only if you certify to being a file-sharer! Comcast has set-aside $16 million, but stands to lose a lot less unless a million file-sharers actually register at that settlement website! That’s right: this deal is structured so that Comcast benefits if enough people don’t register for their $16.

Here are some more important reasons to reject the deal:

* You paid about $50 a month for the service, and the amount that Comcast stands to return is up to about 50¢ per month for each month that it blocked traffic -- just 1 cent on the dollar! That doesn’t begin to compensate for the value of the service that Comcast secretly took back.

* If that tiny amount of money is compensation, then there is no penalty to Comcast for interfering with its customers, for failing to disclose it, for repeatedly lying about it, and for taking so long to stop it.

* The settlement was reached under the assumption that the FCC would still oversee Comcast. With Comcast’s victory over the FCC's authority, there is nothing to stop Comcast or any other ISP from again interfering with your Internet communications.

I hope you’ll agree that this is a bad deal for everyone. Everyone, that is, except for Comcast! The settlement fails to adequately take care of both the past and the future. Fortunately, there is something that you can do about it.

ACTION REQUIRED - IMPORTANT: To opt-out from the settlement, simply write "I want to opt-out of the settlement" along with your name and address and mail it by May 13th to: P2P Congestion Settlement Claims Administrator; c/o Rust Consulting; P.O. Box 9454; Minneapolis, MN 55440-9454. Ask your friends to please do the same. If we want a meaningful settlement in this case and open Internet in our future, it's important to spread the word and send a strong message to Comcast and the industry.

Edited by zalternate

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Oh and some more have apparently settled lawsuits about hacking users data streams with 'end packets'.

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/RCN-Settles-Over-P2P-Throttling-107972

RCN Settles Over P2P Throttling

E-mail to customers 'vigorously' denies any wrong doing

06:15PM Monday Apr 19 2010 by Karl Bode

While Comcast has traditionally gotten all the press for their treatment (some might say bludgeoning) of P2P traffic, there have been other ISPs that have managed to fly under the radar for their actions. Despite doing essentially the exact same packet forgery as Comcast -- Cox Communications avoided a run in with the FCC and the media -- in part because they simply didn't lie about doing it. Some carriers avoided scrutiny because their customers simply never noticed or the carrier never said anything.

With that in mind, RCN is sending out e-mails to their customers informing them that the company has settled a class action lawsuit against the carrier for impeding user P2P traffic. The plaintiff in the case (Sabrina Chin v. RCN Corporation) accused RCN of "delaying or blocking" broadband subscriber traffic, which of course sounds precisely like what Comcast was accused of doing (using forged user TCP reset packets to disrupt P2P communications). The e-mail informs RCN users that the settlement still needs court approval and that RCN "vigorously denies" any wrong doing despite agreeing to settle. From the e-mail:

In this lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that RCN Corporation ("RCN”"), without the knowledge or awareness of RCN broadband Internet subscribers, intentionally interfered with the subscribers' ability to use the Internet by delaying or blocking their Internet use and transmissions. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that RCN engaged in certain Internet network management practices ("Network Management Practices") which hindered or barred RCN broadband Internet subscribers’ ability to engage in peer-to-peer ("P2P") transmissions through the use of P2P programs and protocols. Plaintiff further claims that these alleged practices materially and adversely affected RCN broadband Internet subscribers. RCN vigorously denies plaintiff’s allegations.

The settlement e-mail also informs users that as part of the settlement, RCN has agreed to "cease and desist" all network management practices which specifically affect P2P Internet traffic for a period of eighteen months. This all means two things: RCN can't block your P2P traffic until November of this year, and those of you who were RCN subscribers between August 19, 2003 and July 31, 2009 will probably have a dollar or two coming your way.

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