[sf-lug] [as seen on noisebridge-discuss mailing list] deep packet inspection tracking

jim jim at well.com
Sun May 2 08:58:15 PDT 2010

Should be of interest to any of you interested in net neutrality.

via http://www.tvo.org/searchengine/

JS: in summary (as i understand things), deep packet 
inspection has to do with network devices that are 
installed on the primary backbone centers and that 
are designed to inspect ,for all data traffic that 
passes through them, not just the outer packet 
information but each of the internal packets as well 
as the payload information to determine the 
application for which the payload is bound. 
   the issue regarding net neutrality is whether 
such devices can (i.e should) be configured to 
throttle individual packets based on their payloads. 
   if so, what would be the criteria? the primary 
worry is prioritization based on fees: those entities 
that pay for prioritization have the effect that 
those that don't suffer slower pass-through. 
   a point i haven't seen mentioned (yet) is that of 
security: if backbone data centers have the ability 
to throttle packet flow, this could inhibit the 
effects of denial of services, possibly spam, and 
destructive attempts such as those that could cripple 
the nation's electrical grid or emergency services. 
this seems a worthy consideration, but throws the 
entire decision area into the murky realm of policy. 

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