Israeli ISPs Caught Traffic Shaping Without Admitting It

from the this-will-backfire-again-and-again dept

For many years, in the US, there were claims that Comcast was doing traffic shaping on its network, slowing down or even blocking certain types of traffic. Despite increasingly sophisticated evidence, Comcast always denied it, until the Associated Press finally presented proof. Comcast still tried to dance around on definitions, but finally came clean. In response it got a wrist slap from the FCC (which it's fighting in court), but it has become a lot more transparent in its traffic shaping/filtering practices. There just isn't any logical reason why any ISP should be less than forthcoming about these issues.

Slashdot points us to the news that a new study of Israeli ISPs shows that, despite denying it, many are traffic shaping P2P traffic, often using deep packet inspection. Apparently, Israel's Communications Ministry is already looking into this and determining if it requires any action on its part. It makes you wonder why ISPs think it makes sense not to explain what they're doing to customers.

Filed Under: isps, israel, traffic shaping, transparency

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  1. icon
    BobinBaltimore (profile), 14 Dec 2009 @ 7:21am


    Rethuglican? Oh, so all this evil comes from the right, then. Good to know. Glad you've boiled it down.

    Any ISP that isn't doing some form of traffic shaping and analysis is negligent in managing its infrastructure. Traffic shaping isn't a euphemism, it's a methodology often involving devices built and dedicated for the purpose. Now the purposes for which they use that methodology and the disclosure surrounding it is a whole other matter.

    If a business uses them for political, legal or value-judgment purposes, as opposed to typical and customary network management and defense, the absolutely need to disclose that. Customers (businesses and consumers) have a right to know exactly what they can expect.

    Traffic shaping and deep packet inspection sound nefarious to people who don't understand what they are. They are not evil on their face. That they can be misused does not mean they aren't legitimate and necessary for infrastructure hygiene. This is where the myth and assumption of unlimited bandwidth runs headlong into operational realities. Bandwidth has to be managed and defended carefully and consistently.

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