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CIPPIC Files Privacy Complaint Over DPI 21

Posted by timothy
from the show-us-your-packets dept.
dj_yaz writes "A group of University Of Ottawa law students who deal with online privacy issues last week filed a complaint with Canada's Privacy Commissioner about Bell Canada's use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to monitor internet subscribers' online activities without their knowledge or consent."
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CIPPIC Files Privacy Complaint Over DPI

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  • Re:Packets please (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @11:59AM (#23391808) Journal
    As a veteran of the ISP business from the days of 14.4kbps up through ISDN, DSL, and tower-to-home wireless, let me assure you the little players didn't have the funds to do DPI on everyone.

    For the places I worked, if we suspected one or two particular customers were into kiddie porn or trying to break our network, we could divert that user's packets through a path with a fairly high level of scrutiny. That was a really rare thing, and we were usually too busy keeping the servers and networking equipment running to bother even when we had suspicions.

    We never, at any company I worked for, turned over information on which customer was on an IP address at a given time without a subpoena unless we had proof internally of either kiddie porn or attacking our networks. Any other crime, and the cops had to get their court order. One company I worked for even put up challenges to some subpoenas.

    I'm pretty sure the upstream providers for those small to medium ISPs could carry on vastly more streams of packet inspection, but not enough to snoop on everyone. They might've done random sampling or investigated on a suspicion-led basis as we did. The tech to do DPI on everyone I think is just now becoming economically feasible. Although it probably could have been done with the tech of five years ago, I doubt anyone would have paid the cost.
  • How Relevant (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @12:06PM (#23391880)
    I use charter.net for cable internet, and just saw this today. [charter.com] (kudos to Consumerist.com and DSL reports for the scoop!) Looks like Charter is using DPI, and your browsing habits to "replace" adds on the websites you visit with their own ads that are "more relevant". You can opt out by filling out your personal info on a non-secured website, but you must re-opt out anytime you delete your cookies. Not to mention the copyright ramifications. I would be pissed if I was a webmaster, and lost revenue becuase the ISP's replaced my ads.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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