[A California man filed suit in state court Tuesday against internet service provider Comcast, arguing that the company’s secret use of technology to limit peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent violates federal computer fraud laws, their user contracts and anti-fraudulent advertising statutes. Plaintiff Jon Hart, represented by the Lexington Law Group, argues that Comcast’s promises of providing internet connections that let users “Download at Crazy Fast Speeds” are false and misleading since Comcast limits downloads by transmitting “unauthorized hidden messages to the computers of customers” who use peer-to-peer file sharing software. Hart wants the court to force Comcast to stop interfering with the traffic. He also wants the court to certify the suit as a class action and force Comcast to pay damages to himself and all other Comcast internet subscribers in California.
The suit *(.pdf)*, which also claims the BitTorrent blocking is an unfair business practice, was filed in California Superior Court in Alameda County. In the suit, Hart says he upgraded to Comcast’s Performance Plus service in September specifically to use the “blocked applications,” and that nothing in the 22-page terms of agreement with Comcast indicated that the company throttles traffic. Comcast refuses to plainly explain what it does to control BitTorrent traffic, but independent analyses have shown that Comcast is severely throttling internet traffic that is using the popular file sharing protocol BitTorrent by sending fake “I’m finished” messages to users’ BitTorrent programs. Those fake packets are also alleged to affect users of the mainstream business application Lotus Notes. The lawsuit charges those fake packets violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. I will closely watch this case and inform you all about the results.
Source: rlslog.net, Wired, TGD
*Download Link:* http://www.scribd.com/doc/495911/hart-v-comcast