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Comcast Tor Rules – Am I Getting Banned?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

According to several sources, Comcast customer executives are contacting users and telling them not to use Tor otherwise their internet connection may be cut off. Of course, this isn’t the first time that Comcast has angered its customers with its behavior and misguided policies. The company has been accused of opposing Net Neutrality and throttling bittorrrenting traffic in the past. But if the latest accusations are true, it would mark a new low for the company which already ranks the lowest among all the major ISPs in the customer satisfaction department.

What Exactly Is Tor?

Tor is a popular web browser that allows anonymous browsing. When you connect to the web with Tor, your traffic gets redirected through multiple computers so it becomes difficult for the ISP or government to monitor your online activities. Due to the anonymity it provides, Tor is frequently used by cyber criminals to commit crimes on the web. This is apparently not acceptable to Comcast since it believes that anyone using the Tor software is doing something illegal. However, the company is totally ignoring the fact that there are hundreds of legitimate reasons to protect one’s anonymity on the web.

This episode also raises serious questions about the surveillance and monitoring tactics used the company. There is no way Comcast (or any other ISP) can detect whether or not a user is using Tor unless it is actively monitoring user’s online sessions and use of applications. This is indeed a bad news for online users who value their privacy and believe in online freedom. Even since Edward Snowden leaked details about the PRISM program, American web users have been worried about the surveillance and monitoring activities conducted by ISPs and the NSA and this episode is certainly not going to help the matter.

After the issue surfaced on the web, Comcast issued a quick clarification saying that it is not at war with Tor. Jason Livingood, a senior official of the company, clarified that Comcast does not have a policy against Tor (or any other software) and it has not asked its customers to stop using it. Livingood further stated that the company does not monitor online sessions of users and customers are free to use Tor or any other software at any time. He was also quick to point out that the company will monitor and disclose user information only if there is a legal requirement to do so.

If you are not happy with online surveillance and wish to browse with total privacy, you need to take matters into your own hands. While Tor is indeed a good anonymity tool, there are far better privacy tools like VPNs available today. You can even combine Tor with VPN to achieve total online privacy and secure your data and online sessions from all types of surveillance and security threats. Once you secure your internet with VPN, even Comcast (or any other ISP for that matter) or NSA won’t be able to monitor what you are doing on the web.

November 11, 2014

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