Monday, January 12, 2009

Comcast Rides Again

Of course I'm hypocritical keeping my Comcast account, they're the best bundle out there right now, OK? But the company annoys and outrages me again and again with its pesky political influence-peddling and censorship. If you're unfamiliar with the smarmy history of this legion of scumbags, check out some of Bruce Wagner's tales of censorship, the complaints of poor voice quality and poor customer service, and the company's packing of FCC hearings on net neutrality with paid lackeys.

The latest atrocity involves the censoring of a New Mexico activist emailing people about a rally regarding Israel's occupation of Gaza. Bob Anderson of Stop the War Machine was sending out rally notices Jan. 9 and found his outgoing mail service had been shut off. Bob tells us that "Comcast security says they sent a message about the shut down. But it never arrived here. I don't know when they might have sent it either. This means they must have sent it earlier than the shutdown ... Comcast said I had been reported to them as a spammer and was using Port 25 on their server which is a violation of some type. I should have been on Port 517, they said. I know nothing of what this means except the Comcast rep implied I had been improperly using a business port or some other port and not a residential port. This seemed hostile and a red herring answer. I asked from whom it was that they had a report to shut me down and they said that was proprietary information and they would not tell me ...

"I think a person should have the right to know who is doing this to their private email. I pay Comcast for the email service, they treat it like it is a privilege to email with them. Comcast is one of the telecom companies who have agreed to work secretly with Homeland Security in their interruption and surveillance of terrorists. The question is, does protected political dissent in this country constitute a terrorist activity? I am not a spammer, just a normal politically concerned American citizen concerned that my government is aiding and abetting a genocidal foreign policy in Palestine."

Bob's case is all too common. One thing that concerns me is that an active federal probe under a new administration would find plenty of wrongdoing by both the Bush administration and telecom service providers working with the FISA bypass. Judging by the front page of the Jan. 12 New York Times, Obama is not too thrilled to look into past wrongdoing.



Sharon said...

Unfortunately, it's beginning to look like you were right about Obama being just another centrist politician. There is a small naive part of myself that hopes that he is just being cautious with his rhetoric but will carefully and methodically address "the past".......but that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Comcast's opposition to free speech and peace, and their support of genocide is an outrage.

Loring Wirbel said...

Y'know, I had low expectations, I knew he was a Clintonista at heart, I didn't expect Obama's team to march Cheney off to jail, but I sure hope he shows some elements of backbone at some point. Even Bush's FCC Chairman Kevin Martin showed some backbone with Comcast, calling them pretty disreputable at times. Maybe that can spur Obama to greater bravery.

Greeley's Ghost said...

Is there a shred of hope that with a new administration that the Orwellian World of the past eight years might fade a bit and that the Comcasts of the world might be held accountable (or at least checked?)?
This may be a much to ask with so many, many other problems growling at our doors, but a man can dream can't he??