Verizon's inaction in upgrading their nodes and screwing Netflix was still considered a net neutrality issue.
I didn't say it's not a NN issue because it's passive. I think it's not a NN issue for other reasons, I was just pointing out that the problem here is Comcast not doing something, rather than Comcast doing something.
It's obvious this is a problem, but I don't think you've yet demonstrated that it's a NN problem. What if Comcast weren't even an ISP at all, but only a cable TV company? We could still have the exact same scenario, and would you still call it a net neutrality violation?
But it is HBO's choice to make subscribers authenticate with a cable provider. Comcast is not interfering with any traffic, they're just doing as they see fit with traffic that gets sent to them - not a subscriber. Why should the FCC force Comcast to respond in a particular way to an authentication request? That seems way outside their jurisdiction.
This isn't really a net neutrality issue, it's just how HBO has chosen to do business. If Comcast started messing with HBO Go traffic, that would be a neutrality issue, but that is not what's going on. They're changing things later this year, though we'll have to see exactly what the offering is.
Does this mean that every internet-connected "device" of any kind that you have behind your router must (somehow) not only be seen by Comcast, but approved and registered by Comcast?
Not necessarily, though they might be doing that. All that's necessary is that the device send authentication data to Comcast. I assume Comcast then forwards the authentication response to HBO (they wouldn't want to rely on the client to do it, or it would be too easy to circumvent their control). What Comcast is doing with the data other than authenticating I couldn't say.
HBO GO would allow more people to cut cords and the investment Comcast made with HBO would be diminished.
You still have to have a cable/satellite HBO subscription to get HBO Go. So this isn't directly about cord cutters, though maybe Comcast is thinking ahead (hard to imagine) and doesn't want their customers getting used to the idea of getting TV from the internet.
They should really drop the facade and admit that the secrets have nothing to do with the information, and everthing to do with the power it lets them have over others, including the citizens and Constitution they swear to protect.