Is Bell Canada Violating Privacy With Its Traffic Shaping Efforts?

from the another-way-to-look-at-it dept

We've seen all sorts of arguments against ISPs who engage in traffic shaping, but now some are trying to make a privacy argument against traffic shaping as well. A few months ago, the news came out that Bell Canada was engaging in traffic shaping, even for its wholesale ISP partners who promised customers open internet access. As a couple folks have submitted today, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa is claiming that in addition to other questions raised about this, traffic shaping may be a privacy violation, in that it uses deep packet inspection to determine what type of packets are being sent to figure out what to traffic shape. Bell Canada responds that it is only determining what type of packet it is, rather than what's in it -- but even that information could potentially be a privacy violation. While it seems unlikely that this argument will stick, if traffic shaping starts being seen as a privacy issue, it could put even more pressure on ISPs to stop doing it (and may encourage more users to encrypt their traffic).
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Filed Under: canada, privacy, traffic shaping
Companies: bell canada


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  1. identicon
    Matt, 13 May 2008 @ 4:17am

    It doesn't work

    I was with a Bell Canada reseller, and I had to switch because their traffic shaping doesn't work. It usually engaged during the evening and during that time my internet would either be complete dead or dial-up speeds for normal surfing. On top of that, I could never get on to any type of Online game like WoW, LOTR:Online or FF:XI (I had different friends try their games at my place) during these traffic shaping times.

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