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).
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: canada, privacy, traffic shaping
Companies: bell canada

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Shohat, 13 May 2008 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Idiots

    All telephone conversations (but unlike the net, including almost all encrypted communications) are also public.
    For a person to assume otherwise, is simply closing eyes and going "na-na-na-na" just because the person assumes that what he wants to be real, is real.
    In the real world, your traffic goes through many countries, many jurisdictions, for thousands of miles, by air and cable - anyone can monitor and analyze it as much as he wants, without you ever knowing it.
    If you are doing anything that you consider private/illegal while being connected via a simple unencrypted connection, it's mighty idiotic.
    All such communications are public.

    8200 represent.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.