Jamie covered this a few weeks ago, but now it's official. Score one for us on net neutrality. UPI: (h/t Nate) Broadband Internet customers of cable
August 3, 2008

Jamie covered this a few weeks ago, but now it's official. Score one for us on net neutrality.

UPI: (h/t Nate)

Broadband Internet customers of cable television giant Comcast should be free to use file-sharing software, the Federal Communications Commission says.

The commission voted Friday to order Comcast to stop blocking its Internet customers from using BitTorrent, an online software application that enables users to share large movie, TV show and music files, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Commission Chairman Kevin Martin split with his Republican colleagues to join the two Democratic members to produce a 3-2 vote against Comcast. The precedent-setting decision was hailed by supporters of so-called net neutrality, which maintains Internet service providers should be barred from discriminating among various types of traffic.

"It was unreasonable for Comcast to discriminate against particular Internet applications, including BitTorrent," Martin wrote in his majority opinion. "They delayed and blocked customers using a disfavored application even when there was no network congestion."

Whodathunk Kevin Martin would stand up against his Republican colleagues for what's right? But that only slightly makes up for the wholly egregious new policies of the Homeland Security office:

The gropers at the Department of Homeland Security, not content with patting you down and rummaging through your underwear, now say that they can confiscate electronics brought into the U.S. for any reason, anytime, and share the devices and their contents with anybody.

The Washington Post reports:

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Translation into plain English: Homeland Security can take your stuff for any reason ("without suspicion of wrongdoing"), for however long it wants to ('unspecified period of time").

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Translation: DHS the information on your electronic devices with anyone it wants to share the information with ("other agencies and private entities").

Lovely. I guess the terrorists can't hate us for our freedoms if we have none left.

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