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BradBlog: Comcast admits filtering mail from www.afterdowningstreet.org

This is bad. How will you know if your ISP has a political motive to filter mail so that your intended recipient never receives it? The answer is that you likely won’t. The Brad Blog reports that highly unusual behavior by cable company and Internet service provider, Comcast Corporation. It has been automatically deleting email sent to Comcast customers with the text “www.afterdowningstreet.org” in the body of the email.

AfterDowningStreet.org was the citizen’s launchpad to the campaign to get the Downing Street Minutes and documents into the press, so having email go into a black hole directly impacts organizing efforts.

The discovery that email was being secretly filtered was made after an investigation conducted by ADS co-founder, David Swanson who reported that many coalition members did not seem to be receiving email alerts and others messages being sent by the group.

The BRAD BLOG has been able to independently confirm that email sent to two different Comcast customers with the text “www.afterdowningstreet.org” in the body of the mail, is not currently reaching those customers as expected. Though messages with only “afterdowningstreet.org” are, in fact, able to get through to those same customers without a problem.

In a statement released by People-Link.org, the Internet host for the AfterDowningStreet.org domain, the directors of the “progressive” firm charge that the filtering is politically motivated and both they and Swanson have requested people contact Comcast to complain. While it is not uncommon for Internet Service Providers, or ISP’s, to filter out messages sent to their users by domains which are known to send large amounts of unrequested junkmail, or “spam”, Comcast acknowledged to Swanson that AfterDowningStreet.org was not on their list of domains alleged to have sent such email.

Go read it all for yourself, including the full statement by the directors of May First/People Link, who wrote: “This goes far beyond the normal anti-spam measures taken by major providers and represents an effective blocking of constitutionally protected expression and the fundamental right to organize and act politically on issues of concern.”

Tin foil hats, anyone?

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Pam Spaulding

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