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Google Says Bell Canada is Breaking the Law

Google says Bell Canada is breaking Canadian telecommunications law by throttling certain internet traffic, and is urging the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to take action against the company. Peter Nowak of CBC News reports today that Google has made a 15-page submission to CRTC which went public over the weekend. Quoting from the submission: "Bell claims its throttling of peer-to-peer applications is a reasonable form of network management. Google respectfully disagrees. Network management does not include Canadian carriers' blocking or degrading lawful applications that consumers wish to use." more

Cable Operator Suspends Plan to Sell Customer Data to Advertisers

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, announced yesterday that it has backed off a plan to monitor customers' Internet transmissions. The company had been planning to harvest the stream of data from each Internet customer for clues to their interests and then make money from advertisers who would use the information to target online pitches. The data-collection effort would have protected personal information, Charter officials said in describing the plan, but critics likened the practice to wiretapping. more

New Coalition Pushes for High-Speed Internet Access for All

U.S. Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan Adelstein and several high-profile technology executives and industry advocates on Tuesday launched an initiative to make broadband access a national priority in the U.S., report Elizabeth Montalbano or IDG news service. At the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, Adelstein and others unveiled InternetforEveryone.org, a movement aimed at fostering a public dialogue among U.S. citizens to advise the government on how to set a national policy. more

Cyberattack Paralyzed Marshall Islands Email Service

Email communication in the Marshall Islands was paralysed Tuesday after hackers launched a "zombie" computer attack on the western Pacific nation's only Internet service provider, AFP reports. The attack started early Tuesday, in which hackers used zombie computers to flood country's only Internet service provider with spam emails, causing a complete shutdown of email traffic into the nation of around 55,000 people. more

The Pirate Bay Calls ISPs Around the World to Block Sweden

In a response to the new wiretapping law that was introduced in Sweden this week, The Pirate Bay is asking international ISPs to block traffic to Sweden in order to protect their customers. In addition, the BitTorrent tracker will add SSL encryption to their site, and roll out a new VPN service. Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, has written about this issue on his blog. Sunde points out that Belgium has taken Sweden to the Strasbourg court and hopes more countries will follow suit. more

Internet Usage Control Necessary, Says Sandvine

CBC News has an interview with the CEO of Sandvine, a company notorious for providing Internet access providers the technology to manage the amount and type of traffic used by consumers. From the interview, "Q: Some people have a negative view of Sandvine -- one keynote speaker at a security conference last year referred to your company as "evil." How do you react to that perception? A: Here we are, a company founded on improving the quality of the experience of the internet and trying to make the world a better place... One of the biggest ironies is that people who might not be too happy with what we're doing are often the largest benefactors of it." more

ISPs Will Likely Try Variety of Methods to Deal With P2P Traffic

P2p traffic management was a hot topic at this year's NXTcomm convention in Las Vegas, as keynote speakers and telecom industry panelists highlighted new methods for handling P2P traffic crunches, reports Brad Reed of Network World. Ericsson North America CTO Arun Bhikshesvaran says: "In the end, ISPs are likely to try a wide variety of methods for managing P2P traffic, and users shouldn't expect one method will instantly crop up that will satisfy both their demands and those of the network. It's really more of an evolution of the service provider model than anything else. It's an evolution of the business model, and there will be more to come... hopefully not to the detriment of the users." more

No Broadband Access for Illegal Downloaders Under New Law in France

A new controversial law in France will ban anyone who persists in illegal downloading of music or films from broadband access. Under a cross-industry agreement, internet service providers (ISPs) are required to cut access for up to a year for third-time offenders. "There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone," President Sarkozy told his Cabinet yesterday as it endorsed the "three-strikes-and-you're-out" scheme that from next January will hit illegal downloaders where it hurts. more

Google is in Process of Developing ISP Throttling Detector Tool for Consumers

In an effort to identify traffic discrimination by American ISPs, Google is prepping a suite of network analysis tools for everyday broadband users. "We're trying to develop tools, software tools...that allow people to detect what's happening with their broadband connections, so they can let [ISPs] know that they're not happy with what they're getting -- that they think certain services are being tampered with," Google senior policy director Richard Whitt said during a panel discussion. more

AT&T Following Steps of Cable Companies, Considers Tiered Broadband Pricing

AT&T, United States' largest Internet provider, is considering charging extra for customers who download large amounts of data. Cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Rogers have already taken steps to gauge their customers Internet usage. "A form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable," said AT&T's spokesman Michael Coe. more

Experts Concerned Over U.S. Spyware Legislation Being Overly Broad

U.S. Senate bill aims at limiting spyware by seemingly allowing broadband providers, computer hardware and software vendors, financial institutions and other businesses to scan users' computers without authorization. "We think this language is overly broad and could protect activities which could be harmful to computer users," Butler told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "It would, in effect, allow a software vendor to truly monitor everything that's on a user's computer, essentially setting [vendors] up as an ad hoc police force." more

Comcast Domain Name Hacked, Website Breached for Several Hours

Shortly before 11 p.m. EDT yesterday, Comcast users began noticing that Comcast.net had been hacked. More technically, early indications are that someone hacked Comcast's registrar account at Network Solutions, changing the authoritative DNS servers for Comcast.net -- rerouting portal visitors to IP addresses in Germany or elsewhere. The front page of Comcast.net was replaced with a note saying the hackers had "RoXed" Comcast, according to postings at BroadbandReports.com. more

Canadians Rally for Net Neutrality

Hundreds of protesters are expected to descend on Canada's capital on Tuesday to urge government action on keeping the internet free from interference by service providers. The net neutrality rally is drawing together politicians, labor unions, consumer groups and internet activists, with protesters being bused in from several locations including Toronto and Montreal. At issue are the actions of big ISPs such as Bell Canada Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc., who have been slowing down the internet speeds of customers using certain applications, such as peer-to-peer software used for file sharing. more

Internet Hitting Full Capacity by 2010?

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 last week in London, Jim Cicconi, vice president of U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T has claimed, current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded. "The surge in online content is at the center of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today," he said. "In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today." more

Google Finally Talks About 700 MHz Auction Results

For three weeks at the end of January and early February, a small team of us holed up in double super secret "war rooms" in Mountain View, CA and Washington, D.C. to bid on Google's behalf in the FCC spectrum auction. Bidding took place electronically, and literally billions of dollars were at stake with every mouse click. And because of the FCC's strict anti-collusion rules, we couldn't tell a soul what was going on behind closed doors... more