Every Silver Lining Has a Dark Cloud

UPDATE: the Times BITS Blog has totally re-written its story, removing most of the incendiary language, so this post is now officially academic. A similar piece in The Register has also been re-written. It would be a lot easier for everyone if our blogger/journalists would get things right the first time, but better late than not even.

Comcast’s “protocol agnostic” network management system has been generally praised by all parties in the network neutrality debate as a sane and sensible approach to congestion management. As the system enters trials today in two locations, the praise has been tempered by some irrational criticism. Saul Hansell, a New York Times blogger, sees the new system as something quite nefarious, a “blacklist:”

It will test new devices that will keep track of Comcast users and assemble a blacklist of heavy users. Those on the blacklist will find that all of their online activities may slow down at peak times: from downloading movies to checking e-mail.

This account is extremely bizarre, but not unprecedented. Saul Hansell, meet your progenitor.

5 thoughts on “Every Silver Lining Has a Dark Cloud”

  1. Saul Hansell isn’t much worse than Jon Peha. Peha was on the FCC panel saying I don’t know about this protocol agnostic stuff. If this can’t please them, nothing will.

  2. Speaking as a blogger and former Editor at ZDNet, I can say with good authority that you did zero due diligence in your first piece. You made some outrageous assumptions based on your own biases with zero verification and you published it. The result was shoddy reporting and completely revised story.

  3. Saul, are you saying that the “next day” thing came directly from Comcast? I don’t see it in the write-up on their web site, but if you got it directly from the horse’s mouth, I would be willing to cut you some slack.

    That being said, when you write for The Paper of Record’s blog, you’ve got a high bar to reach and can’t just dash off a lot of crap from the top of your head. Remember Jayson Blair.

  4. Saul: Why don’t you interview someone who actually operates an ISP, rather than a flack who may work for a mega-giant corporation that provides Internet services but knows zero about the actual issues?

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