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Deep Packet Inspection very well explained

Deep Packet Inspection very well explained

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Authors M. Chris Riley and Ben Scott Free Press explain Deep Packet Inspection technology and its implications on privacy in this document.
Authors M. Chris Riley and Ben Scott Free Press explain Deep Packet Inspection technology and its implications on privacy in this document.

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Published by: Sivasubramanian Muthusamy on Jul 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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deep packet inspection: the end of the internet as we know it?
Deep Packet Inspection:
 The end of The inTerneT aswe know iT?
M. Chris Riley and Ben Scott Free PressMarch 2009
deep packet inspection: the end of the internet as we know it?
During the explosive rise o the Internet, one undamental principle governed: All users and all content  were treated alike. The physical network o cables and routers did not know or care about the user or the content. The principle o nondiscrimination, or “Net Neutrality,” allowed users to travel anywhereon the Internet, ree rom intererence. Nondiscrimination, in various orms, has been a oundation o communications law and policy or decades.In the early days o the Internet, nondiscrimination was easy to uphold because it was not technologically easible or service providers to inspect messages and evaluate their content in realtime. But recently, electronics manuacturers have developed so-called Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)technology capable o tracking Internet communications in real time, monitoring the content, anddeciding which messages or applications will get through the astest.Here’s how it works: Messages on the Internet are broken down into small units called packets. Eachpacket contains a header and a data eld. The header contains processing inormation, including thesource and destination addresses. The data eld contains everything else, including the identity o thesource application (such as a Web browser request, a peer-to-peer transer, or an e-mail), as well as themessage itsel (part o the contents o a Web page, le or e-mail). Packets are much like letters – theoutside o the envelope is like the packet header, and the inside, like the data eld, carries the message.Historically, Internet communications were processed using only inormation in the header, becauseonly that inormation is needed to transer packets rom their source to their destination. By contrast,DPI technology opens and reads the data eld in real time, allowing network operators to identiy andcontrol, at a precise level, everyday uses o the Internet. Operators can tag packets or ast-lane or slow-lane treatment – or block the packets altogether – based on what they contain or which application sent them. The rst DPI devices were used or manual troubleshooting o network problems and to block viruses, worms and Denial o Service attacks. Initially, DPI was not powerul enough to monitor users’ Internet communications in real time. But today, DPI is capable o ar more than security – it enables newrevenue-generating capabilities through discrimination. This new use o DPI is changing the game. In act, improper use o DPI can change the Internet as we know it – turning an open and innovative platorm into just another orm o pay-or-play media. Although early uses o real-time DPI by ISPs have been geared toward targeted advertising and reducing congestion, manuacturers market the technology or its ability to determine and control every use o a subscriber’s Internet connection. When a network provider chooses to install DPI equipment, that provider knowingly arms itsel with the capacity to monitor and monetize the Internet in ways that threaten to destroy Net Neutrality and the essential open nature o the Internet.

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