Rogers / Shaw blocking podcasts

Alec Saunders reported hearing that Rogers Cable and Shaw Cable may be blocking podcasts. It wasn’t clear whether this was all podcasts or only those being distributed using P2P distribution tools that are also commonly used to distribute infringing materials. I sincerely hope his information is wrong. Otherwise, VOIP will be next.

Internet access providers should be doing just that, providing access. Although there are probably good arguments for SMTP port 25 filtering, that is about as far as it should go. If any Internet access provider starts blocking other services then (i) there should be consumer protection consequences (in other words, proper disclosure to customers so that they can make informed decisions) and (ii) we should consider whether they should lose common carrier liability protections with respect to content – if a carrier is able to filter content they deem is bad or competitive to them then they should be liable for any other bad content that they don’t stop. If they are filtering then they are providing more than just “the means of telecommunications.”