Comcast calls for ISP "bill of rights" to protect file sharers. Wait, what?

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Many have wanted a “bill of rights” for Internet subscribers for awhile, and now the idea has the backing of an unusual group: Comcast.

Comcast has been in the news for “traffic shaping“, or favoring certain types of traffic over others, notably putting BitTorrent and other P2P traffic on a second-tier behind what it considered “legitimate” traffic. It has since stopped this practice, but it’s always been assumed that Comcast was bowing to pressure from Hollywood and the RIAA to do such things.

This new document, which would outline “best practices” for ISPs, would act as an outline for what ISPs could and couldn’t do to consumers’ traffic, and would also codify what users should expect.

Part of the current problem with ISPs is that there’s no real documented terms of service across the board when it comes to how an ISP is going to treat a user’s traffic. This would end the dubiousness of conjecture and solidify what one can expect, meaning no surprises for the users or the ISPs.

Is Comcast being genuine, or is this a publicity stunt to make it seem like their Net Neutral? Is it some sort of Trojan Horse document to trick users into a sense of justice? That remains to be seen until the document is completed, but we always keep one wary eye on companies like Comcast with a history of allowing themselves to be bullied by Hollywood and the RIAA.

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