Comcast says it isn’t terminating customers for using Tor

Comcast, frequently awarded the title of “most hated” company in the U.S., responded promptly on Monday to accusations that it had declared a “war” on the anonymizing software Tor

In a blog post on their official website, a Comcast official categorically denied reports that customers have been threatened with termination of service for attempting to hide their identities online using the software. He concluded by essentially endorsing the use of Tor

“The report may have generated a lot of clicks but is totally inaccurate,” Vice President Jason Livingood wrote in the blog post. He continues:

“Comcast is not asking customers to stop using Tor, or any other browser for that matter. We have no policy against Tor, or any other browser or software. Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website, use any app, and so forth.”

“Our customers can use Tor at any time, as I have myself. I’m sure many of them are using it right now,” Livingood added. 

On Saturday, a report surfaced on the website Deep Dot Web alleging that multiple broadband customers had been informed by Comcast that using Tor was “illegal.” They were reportedly told either to stop using it, or have their service terminated. The story was picked up by Yahoo Tech, Business Insider, Boing Boing, and others. 

In the article that sparked the controversy, a broadband customer was allegedly told by a company representative named “Jeremy” that “users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the Internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules.”

Comcast claims the “anecdotal chat room evidence” provided by Deep Dot Web was false.

Photo by Mr.TinDC/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.