On Monday, a report surfaced claiming that Comcast was taking action against subscribers of its Xfinity Internet service who are using the Tor Browser. Several company representatives were quoted, one of which allegedly said that customers who cover their tracks with tools like Tor are likely doing something illegal. Thus, the company is supposedly monitoring its users and contacting those using the browser.
Comcast, however, says that's not true. "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," said Comcast VP of Internet Services Jason Livingood in a special blog post.
He said that Xfinity subscriber web surfing, browser usage and online history are not monitored by the company. Even more, Comcast does not terminate customer accounts when they've violated the Copy Alert System, aka the "six-strikes" program, which is a "non-punitive, educational and voluntary copyright program."
"We respect customer privacy and security and only investigate and disclose certain information about a customer's account with a valid court order or other appropriate legal process, just like other ISPs," wrote Livingood, pointing to its Transparency Report.
As reported on Monday, the Tor Browser became highly popular once Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA allegedly spies on Web surfers. Over 2 million people now use the Tor Browser, which connects to the Tor Network and uses random paths to the user's destination in order to prevent government and private agencies from tracking Web usage.
The browser is a great tool for those who want to remain anonymous online. However, it can also be used to surf for illegal material including child pornography and drugs. For this reason, Monday's report seemed to have some merit. However, Comcast insists that there is no "war" declared against the Tor Browser, so Xfinity customers can continue to use the software without fear of being disconnected from the Internet.
"The report may have generated a lot of clicks but is totally inaccurate," added Livingood in his post.