In its ongoing war against BitTorrent, Canadian ISP Rogers decided to throttle all encrypted traffic. ISPs and BitTorrent client developers are playing an ongoing cat-and-mouse game, but Rogers really crosses the line here. A very bold move, to say the least, which affects not only BitTorrent users, but everyone who is using encrypted transfers.
Last year Rogers was one of the first ISPs to throttle BitTorrent traffic because it generated “too much” bandwidth. The developers of uTorrent and Azureus soon countered this move and added support for encrypted transfers to their clients, that’s where the cat-and-mouse game started. Encryption seemed to work for well for most Rogers clients, until this week.
Rogers realized that the bit-shaping applications they were using to limit the traffic that is generated by BitTorrent weren’t effective anymore, and started to throttle all encrypted transfers as well. As a consequence, people have trouble connecting to encrypted e-mail services, and other applications that rely on encrypted connections.
Rogers is not the only ISP that tries to cut down the BitTorrent traffic. Last year we had a discussion whether traffic shaping is good or bad, and both BitTorrent users and ISPs had some good arguments. However, limiting all encrypted transfers is a completely different story, it affects a wide range of customers, not only the ones using BitTorrent.
What makes it even more ridiculous is that Rogers still advertises with the slogan “for sharing large files and much more”. Last time I checked BitTorrent was still the best way to share large files, but I guess the people at Rogers don’t want their customers to share large files after all.
Rogers’ competitor Shaw is also limiting BitTorrent traffic, but at least they still leave encrypted traffic untouched (for now).