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
    Sajon, 13 May 2008 @ 5:53am

    Re: Idiots

    So following your logic Shohat all communication on your telephone should also be considered public. Deep packet sniffing for the purposes above is the equivilent of the phone company listening to your phone conversations so they can sell your information..ie spending habits or likes and dislikes etc.. to retailers for a profit. No this is not what packet shaping is about but this analogy just shows that just because your data is flowing through public or private devices does not mean those in control of those devices are permitted by law to view the data for any purpose other than possibly diagnosis purposes. That is the law as it currently stands. The purpose of those routers switches and hubs is to prevent the "public" from accessing your data. Those who work with/on those router and switches are not the public and are legally obligated to ensure your info does not reach the public encrypted or not.

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