Blown To Bits

Deep Packet Inspection

Saturday, July 19th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

That’s what happens when the contents of Internet packets are inspected en route from the source to the destination for analysis of what’s in them. For example, if your Internet Service Provider were to peek inside the packets for this web page, en route from our web server to your home, to make sure they aren’t carrying a copyrighted movie instead. It’s exactly as though Fed Ex were opening the packages and deciding whether they were OK by Fed Ex standards before delivering them.

Dave Reed’s testimony before Congress yesterday on this subject is well worth reading. What’s nice about it is that his argument that this practice should be prohibited is fundamentally not based on civil liberties grounds, but on economic grounds — that allowing these practices will staunch the growth of the Internet by making innovation at the endpoints impossible, and it is the innovation at the endpoints (along with the great improvements in packet delivery, without peeking at the contents) that have resulted in VoIP, streaming video, and hundreds of other technologies built on top of Internet protocols but for which the protocols were never designed in the first place.

The testimony is clear, well-organized, and plainspoken. Highly recommended.

2 Responses to “Deep Packet Inspection”

  1. Blown to Bits » Blog Archive » “Opting-In” to Being Tracked Says:

    […] advertising to you that will be relevant to your interests. Depending on how you look at it, this deep packet inspection is either a frightening invasion of your privacy — many people are not happy to think that […]

  2. Paanchajanyadharaaya Says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.