Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise - VMS

This is a discussion on Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise - VMS ; On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 01:56:48 -0700, JF Mezei wrote: > New technology is now fast enough to provide DPI (deep packet > inspection) on a large scale. Ellacoya has one box capable of scanning > 20 gbps "live", with ...

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Thread: Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

  1. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 01:56:48 -0700, JF Mezei
    wrote:

    > New technology is now fast enough to provide DPI (deep packet
    > inspection) on a large scale. Ellacoya has one box capable of scanning
    > 20 gbps "live", with 500,000 customers each having multiple TCPIP
    > sessions running (throttling by TCPIP session). It scans your private
    > data, able to looks at multiple packets to detects certain applications,
    > and will do accounting of what user uses what applications for how much
    > data being exchanged. It can also do that on a HTTOP transaction dwon to
    > each web site visited per user (which the telco can then sell to
    > advertising firms).


    Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?

    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  2. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article , "Tom Linden" writes:
    >On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 01:56:48 -0700, JF Mezei
    > wrote:
    >
    >> New technology is now fast enough to provide DPI (deep packet
    >> inspection) on a large scale. Ellacoya has one box capable of scanning
    >> 20 gbps "live", with 500,000 customers each having multiple TCPIP
    >> sessions running (throttling by TCPIP session). It scans your private
    >> data, able to looks at multiple packets to detects certain applications,
    >> and will do accounting of what user uses what applications for how much
    >> data being exchanged. It can also do that on a HTTOP transaction dwon to
    >> each web site visited per user (which the telco can then sell to
    >> advertising firms).

    >
    >Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?
    >

    You mean like automatically opening and scanning mail for viruses on the
    central mailhub ?

    Deep packet inspection has been used by businesses for years - its the only way
    to detect "firewall friendly" applications which bypass the firewall by
    tunneling over port 80. Though nowadays many of these applications are moving
    over to using encryption and port 443 which makes them pretty much invisible to
    deep packet inspection.
    The businesses doing that deep packet inspection though usually have a legal
    obligation to keep that data secure and to only use it for specific purposes
    eg keeping the network running, secure and free from applications which the
    business' policy bans from its network. (The exact legal position of course
    depends upon which legal jurisdiction the business falls under).

    A more recent development has been the plans of certain ISPs to use a product
    from a company called Phorm to target you with advertisements according to
    your browser habits as determined by Phorm's interception of your browser
    requests see

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/29/phorm_roundup/

    and in particular the secret trials of this product carried out last year
    without informing customers.


    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University


    >--
    >PL/I for OpenVMS
    >www.kednos.com


  3. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    Bob Koehler wrote:
    > In article , "Tom Linden" writes:
    >> Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?

    >
    > Because the laws that protect snail mail are specific to snail mail.
    >


    Also note that e-mail is very new compared to snail mail. More than 200
    years of legislation and case law apply to snail mail.

    There is nothing to prevent anyone with System privileges from reading
    your e-mail. It might even be legal to forward it to "The New York
    Times" and for the Times to publish it! If publishing your e-mail would
    sell newspapers, somebody would do it!

    The moral? Don't commit anything to e-mail that you would not want to
    see on the front page of the Times!

    For that matter, you should probably own, and use, a paper shredder.
    Courts have ruled that a man has NO expectation of privacy in his trash.

    Do you use wireless Ethernet? If so, you had better be sure it's
    encrypted and that you change the encryption keys frequently enough to
    discourage crackers.

    Also note, that in the case of public officials, courts have held that
    their e-mail is a "public record".

    The moral? Well, I'm sure you get the idea.




  4. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article , "Tom Linden" writes:
    >
    > Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?


    Because the laws that protect snail mail are specific to snail mail.


  5. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    On Jun 2, 2:08 pm, "Richard B. Gilbert"
    wrote:
    > Bob Koehler wrote:
    > > In article , "Tom Linden" writes:
    > >> Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?

    >
    > > Because the laws that protect snail mail are specific to snail mail.

    >
    > Also note that e-mail is very new compared to snail mail. More than 200
    > years of legislation and case law apply to snail mail.
    >
    > There is nothing to prevent anyone with System privileges from reading
    > your e-mail. It might even be legal to forward it to "The New York
    > Times" and for the Times to publish it! If publishing your e-mail would
    > sell newspapers, somebody would do it!
    >
    > The moral? Don't commit anything to e-mail that you would not want to
    > see on the front page of the Times!


    Well, that should be easy! I seriously doubt anything I would or have
    put in an email would even make it to the Style section. The Onion,
    maybe! :-)

    >
    > For that matter, you should probably own, and use, a paper shredder.
    > Courts have ruled that a man has NO expectation of privacy in his trash.


    Got one!

    >
    > Do you use wireless Ethernet? If so, you had better be sure it's
    > encrypted and that you change the encryption keys frequently enough to
    > discourage crackers.
    >
    > Also note, that in the case of public officials, courts have held that
    > their e-mail is a "public record".
    >
    > The moral? Well, I'm sure you get the idea.


    Got it. Thanks.

    AEF

  6. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    Tom Linden wrote:

    > Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?



    DPI used in a corporare environment does not have the "postal
    confidentiallity" issue since the corporation essentially owns all the
    data on its network, including private emails containing sex jokes sent
    between workers.

    But when you start dealing with an outfit that has common carrier
    status, then the "postal confidentiality" issue becomes important.

    Bell Canada claims it is looking only at the envelope. (it considers the
    packet payload to be an envelope). (For instance, an HTTP response
    header would be cosnidered envelope by Bell because the content follows,
    even though at the network level, the HTTP response header and content
    are all packet payloads (layer 7 of OSI stack).

    BTW, I installed Wireshark on my Mac. (GUI and glorified equivalent of
    Ethermon on VMS). It an an X application. (GTK2 toolkit). Interesting
    to see form familiar X look-and-feel to it compared to native MAC apps
    that reside next to it.

    Bell Canada, in its CRTC filing has already stated that it has the
    ability to start to favour certain web sites over others.

    If you want to read how incompetant and clueless powerpoint-driven upper
    management are, goto

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/20..._200805153.htm

    and read the Bell Canada submissions (especially the 2008-05-29).
    (remember that the service in question is PPPoE frame transport on
    pointo to point links between the home and a competitive ISP. This is
    not an INTERNET service. IPs are assigned and managed by the ISPs, not
    by Bell.

    warning: Bell Canada has marketing agreements with Microsoft, has
    outsourced its email to microsoft, and used to have conde on its web
    site to retract acces to only microsoft users. Don't be surprised by teh
    fact that a large corporation takes such huge risks by submitting legal
    dopcumenst in microsoft word formats. The guy who is responsible for
    those documents doesn't know the difference between bits and bytes.

    It is a miracle that telephone calls get through.

  7. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:

    > Also note that e-mail is very new compared to snail mail. More than 200
    > years of legislation and case law apply to snail mail.


    Common carriers also have strict confidentiality laws. More than 100
    years of legistlation covers a telecom carrier's right to listen or
    barge into conversations.

    Remember that at one point, phone operators were paid by some companies
    to connect callers to them instead of to their competitors when the
    caller asked for the competitor. Laws had to be passed to prevent that.

  8. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    On Jun 2, 2:20 pm, "Tom Linden" wrote:
    > On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 01:56:48 -0700, JF Mezei
    >
    > wrote:
    > > New technology is now fast enough to provide DPI (deep packet
    > > inspection) on a large scale. Ellacoya has one box capable of scanning
    > > 20 gbps "live", with 500,000 customers each having multiple TCPIP
    > > sessions running (throttling by TCPIP session). It scans your private
    > > data, able to looks at multiple packets to detects certain applications,
    > > and will do accounting of what user uses what applications for how much
    > > data being exchanged. It can also do that on a HTTOP transaction dwon to
    > > each web site visited per user (which the telco can then sell to
    > > advertising firms).

    >
    > Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?
    >
    > --
    > PL/I for OpenVMSwww.kednos.com


    Well, from a logical and commonsense viewpoint, monitoring of
    internetic traffic content is conceptually remarkably similar to
    opening someone's mail. But the legal profession have for centuries
    made well-paid careers out of ensuring that law doesn't necessarily
    have anything with logic and common sense, or justice.

    Ellacoya's deep packet inspection mostly looks at packet headers,
    protocol types, IP addresses, and the like, and uses them fo "traffic
    management" purposes, flow control, prioritisation, and such, without
    actually knowing or caring about the details of the content. I'm a
    customer of an ISP with Ellacoyas and I'm comfortable with it (for
    now), though I understand that other folks might not be happy; that;s
    what "choice" is for.

    I suspect what JF is referring to, for real intrusive monitoring,
    where all http traffic flowing through your ISP is intercepted, not
    just headers, and the *contents* of your traffic used to provide
    "extra targeted" ads isn't Ellacoya at all. Check out Phorm - plenty
    of coverage on The Register and elsewhere.

    BT and Virgin (the UK's sole surviving major cable company) were
    touted by Phorm as being early adopters. Virgin have since said "not
    yet we're not", but meanwhile they have recently changed their Ts+Cs
    in a Phorm-friendly way. BT look a more likely candidate, as the
    former technical director at BT Retail (who was in charge at BT while
    they were secretly trialling Phorm monitoring/interception, whilst
    telling customers who noticed strange things that no monitoring/
    interception was occuring) is now the technical director at Phorm, and
    a former Home Office minister is on the board at BT (aiui it would be
    the Home Office that would have to approve BT/Phorm's scheme as
    legit).

    Interesting times.

  9. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article <7uydneqty68VqtnVnZ2dnUVZ_hWdnZ2d@comcast.com>, "Richard B. Gilbert" writes:
    >Bob Koehler wrote:
    >> In article , "Tom Linden" writes:
    >>> Why is this not like opening someone's mail, from a legal viewpoint?

    >>
    >> Because the laws that protect snail mail are specific to snail mail.
    >>

    >
    >Also note that e-mail is very new compared to snail mail. More than 200
    >years of legislation and case law apply to snail mail.
    >
    >There is nothing to prevent anyone with System privileges from reading
    >your e-mail. It might even be legal to forward it to "The New York
    >Times" and for the Times to publish it! If publishing your e-mail would
    >sell newspapers, somebody would do it!
    >

    This depends very much upon the legal jurisdiction. In the UK there are various
    pieces of legislation (Human Rights, RIP act, Data protection act etc) which
    cover interception of email. These acts basically provide senders and
    recipients with protection against covert surveillance of their mail and
    protection against divulging of personal information to third parties.
    (There are a number of exceptions for Police and other Government bodies and
    for monitoring in order to maintain the performance and security of the mail
    system and for formal investigations into breaches of company policies. More
    general monitoring is also allowed so long as an organisation has published a
    policy to all its users advising them that monitoring will take place.)

    see

    http://prisonplanet.com/articles/jul...80706Email.htm

    A system administrator intercepting mail and forwarding it to a newspaper would
    almost certainly be in breach of the above laws. In a limited number of cases
    the paper if it published the email might have a defense that publishing the
    article was in the public interest. The system administrator though might have
    more difficulty in mounting that defense unless they could show that the
    interception was in accordance with the above laws since they would only have
    been able to ascertain that its publication might be in the public interest
    after having intercepted and read it.

    Most of the above acts are based upon EU legislation which has been
    incorporated into UK law and hence similar acts apply in the rest of the EU.



    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University

  10. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article , david20@alpha1.mdx.ac.uk writes:
    >In article <4844b7b1$0$7257$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >>johnwallace4@gmail.com wrote:
    >>
    >>

    >JF you seem to think that this is something new it isn't. Companies have been
    >fighting against the use of P2P applications and "firewall friendly"
    >applications using deep inspection and traffic shaping tools for years.
    >As to net neutrality this is a bit of mythology. The internet is and always has
    >been a connected set of private networks. Each owner of a private network has
    >always been free to accept, reject, throttle whatever traffic they like.
    >The classic example is the granddaddy of email blacklists the RBL. The RBL
    >(Realtime Blackhole list) could be deployed in two ways. The first was simply
    >as an email check as with all the other DNS based blocking lists. The second
    >though and the reason it is called a blackhole list was to alter routing
    >information to effectivily cut the listed servers off the internet as far as
    >those using the RBL service were concerned. This second method cuts not just
    >email traffic but all traffic.
    >
    >See
    >
    >http://www.mail-abuse.com/wp_introrbl.html
    >
    >At one point the company providing the Transatlantic link into Janet (UK Joint
    >Academic Network) was using the MAPS RBL in router blocking mode. Hence if a
    >site in the states managed to get onto that list and tried to contact a UK
    >university they would not be able to connect over the internet and the UK
    >university would have no knowledge of their connection attempts or way of
    >allowing the US system to communicate. The only solution was for the US
    >institution to get its system removed from the RBL.
    >This was in place for a number of years.
    >

    There used to be a document on the JANET website explaining about the use of
    the RBL in routing mode and the transatlantic link provided by Teleglobe but
    I can't seem to find it at the moment. The best I can come up with is the short
    mention in the section titled "Teleglobe Adopt the Realtime Blackhole List"
    in
    http://webarchive.ja.net/services/pu...rna-news5.html

    from the september 1998 newsletter.


    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University

  11. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article <7uydneqty68VqtnVnZ2dnUVZ_hWdnZ2d@comcast.com>, "Richard B. Gilbert" writes:
    >
    > There is nothing to prevent anyone with System privileges from reading
    > your e-mail.


    Tehcnically, yes, but rules may apply. I'm sure I'm not the only
    one working for a private company who's policy states that reading
    someone else's email requires approval of a corporate vice
    president. Violation can result in termination.

    An employee's relationship with a private employer is in many areas
    left up to the employee and employer. I'm sure other companies exist
    that have very different, or no, policies.


  12. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    John Santos wrote:

    > JF may be paranoid, but even paranoids have real enemies.



    Until bell started to do this throttling on commercial data links (not
    at the ISP level but at the common telecom carrier level), I also
    thought net neutrality was essentially a modern "hippie" issue.

    But Bell forced me to start to study what those ellacoya boxes can do.
    And this is what is truly scary. All of a sudden, those warning from the
    "net neutrality hippies" start to make sense.

    And yes, right now, Bell says its goal is only make P2P (they don't have
    the guts to say "BitTorrent" because BitTorrent is a legit commercial
    operation that sells movies legally) unusable during peak hours. (at the
    same time, it launches its own competing unthrottled video store).

    But when you look at the tactics and timing of Bell implementation, it
    is clear that once the CRTC refuses the request to remove them, Bell
    will not only be able to cripple its competitors, but it will then be
    able to change the configs of its ellacoya boxes to do far more.


    My ISP pays the big bucks to buy 5gbps bandwidth in the ADSL access
    network, plus roughly $20 for each individual subscriber. The more its
    customers transfer, the more bandwidth my ISP needs to buy from Bell to
    carry raw data between the homes and the ISP's premises. This isn't
    "internet", it is a simple point to point circuits to transfer data.

    My ISP then buys internet transit and has its own routers, BGP, AS
    Number, its own IP blocks.

    My ISP wants to give me full freedom to use any application I want (Bell
    now prevents it) in exchange for a download cap of 200 gigs a month. I
    can get an "unlimited" package at higher price, or can pay a reasonable
    price if I exceed the 200gigs limit.

    It is wrong to accuse "net neutrality" advocates to want to access the
    net for free.

    When Bell is doing is dictating what on can and cannot say over the
    telephone and inserting a "beep" in a phone conversation to blank out
    any word Bell nilaterally has decided shouldn't be said.

  13. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article , John Santos writes:
    >david20@alpha1.mdx.ac.uk wrote:
    >> In article <4844b7b1$0$7257$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >>
    >>>johnwallace4@gmail.com wrote:
    >>>
    >>>

    >> JF you seem to think that this is something new it isn't. Companies have been
    >> fighting against the use of P2P applications and "firewall friendly"
    >> applications using deep inspection and traffic shaping tools for years.
    >> As to net neutrality this is a bit of mythology. The internet is and always has
    >> been a connected set of private networks. Each owner of a private network has
    >> always been free to accept, reject, throttle whatever traffic they like.
    >> The classic example is the granddaddy of email blacklists the RBL. The RBL
    >> (Realtime Blackhole list) could be deployed in two ways. The first was simply
    >> as an email check as with all the other DNS based blocking lists. The second
    >> though and the reason it is called a blackhole list was to alter routing
    >> information to effectivily cut the listed servers off the internet as far as
    >> those using the RBL service were concerned. This second method cuts not just
    >> email traffic but all traffic.
    >>
    >> See
    >>
    >> http://www.mail-abuse.com/wp_introrbl.html
    >>
    >> At one point the company providing the Transatlantic link into Janet (UK Joint
    >> Academic Network) was using the MAPS RBL in router blocking mode. Hence if a
    >> site in the states managed to get onto that list and tried to contact a UK
    >> university they would not be able to connect over the internet and the UK
    >> university would have no knowledge of their connection attempts or way of
    >> allowing the US system to communicate. The only solution was for the US
    >> institution to get its system removed from the RBL.
    >> This was in place for a number of years.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> David Webb
    >> Security team leader
    >> CCSS
    >> Middlesex University
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>

    >
    >An ISP is *not* a private net. It is a public network. As a common
    >carrier, it is shielded from responsibility for content. In return for
    >that shielding, it must provide transit for everyone on equal terms.
    >

    Sorry I should have used the word separate rather than private. It doesn't make
    any difference whether the separate network is open to the general public or
    not.
    ISPs are not common carriers they do accept some responsibility for content.
    When people complain about spam,viruses or scanning from their networks they
    investigate and take appropriate action - they do not turn round and say that
    as a common carrier they cannot investigate and suggest going to the police.
    Similarly they protect users of their networks and the services they provide
    on their networks such as Mail from attack by measures which includes scanning
    the content of incoming mail messages for viruses and spam. They may well use
    DNS blacklists to block all mail coming from certain systems.

    Many ISPs have policies which restrict whether you can run web servers etc on
    their network. Many block incoming or outgoing direct connections on the smtp
    port.
    These are measures ISPs have been doing for years.




    >At least, that is the way it is *supposed* to work. The ISPs seem to
    >want the best of both worlds. There is a term for an economic system
    >that uses the power of the state to protect entrenched oligarchies at
    >the expense of personal liberties. Anyone care to invoke Godwin?
    >
    >I just today got an email from my ISP stating that they were going to
    >change the terms of service. The included summary seemed fairly
    >reasonable (don't know if the summary reflects the actual TOS), except
    >for one phrase...
    >
    >"4. Modifications to AUP. We have added language to our AUP making clear (a)
    >that we may monitor our subscribers’ compliance with our Terms of Service and
    >AUP; and (b) that we have the right, but not the obligation, to pre-screen,
    >refuse, move or remove any content available on the Service including, but not
    >limited to, content that violates the law, our Terms of Service or our AUP."
    >
    >The "but not limited to" gives them the right to block or remove any
    >content whatsoever, for any or no reason. For example, if they made
    >a deal with M$ or Amazon, they could block iTunes downloads. Or they
    >could block Skype because it competes with their VOIP service.


    And if they blocked Itunes just to favour someone else they had a business deal
    with then Apple could sue them for unfair restraint of trade.


    > Or
    >they could throttle a customer because they complain too much about
    >poor service. Or they could block email to the FCC if they suspected
    >you were complaining.


    You really think they would risk such actions when the customer who wished to
    complain could certainly find other means to contact the FCC or whoever.

    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University


    > In the old days of dialup Internet, you could
    >change ISPs if your current one was not providing decent service
    >since there were lots of competitors, but now there are only two
    >broadband providers (TelCo and cable TV company) available to most
    >people.
    >
    >JF may be paranoid, but even paranoids have real enemies.
    >
    >--
    >John Santos


  14. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    david20@alpha2.mdx.ac.uk wrote:

    > And if they blocked Itunes just to favour someone else they had a business deal
    > with then Apple could sue them for unfair restraint of trade.


    Why do you think Comcast backed down on crippling BitTorrent protocol ?
    BitTorrent Corp (who legally sells movies and other contents for a fee)
    lawyers started to talk to Comcast about exactly that.

    And this is one reason Bell Canada uses "P2P" instead of specifying it
    is blocking BitTorrent traffic.

  15. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article <4846fbe2$0$20557$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >david20@alpha2.mdx.ac.uk wrote:
    >
    >> And if they blocked Itunes just to favour someone else they had a business deal
    >> with then Apple could sue them for unfair restraint of trade.

    >
    >Why do you think Comcast backed down on crippling BitTorrent protocol ?
    >BitTorrent Corp (who legally sells movies and other contents for a fee)
    >lawyers started to talk to Comcast about exactly that.
    >
    >And this is one reason Bell Canada uses "P2P" instead of specifying it
    >is blocking BitTorrent traffic.


    Which is perfectly OK since they are treating competitors of BitTorrent who use
    other P2P protocols in a similar fashion and therefore presumably do not have
    any special relationship with those competitors which could be seen as
    providing an anticompetive advantage.

    The problem with P2P applications is that as well as the few companies legally
    selling movies and other content through them there are also lots of others
    illegally distributing copyrighted content. If the ISPs do nothing about these
    illegal distributions then they face the possibility of legal sanctions from
    the representatives of the Movie and Record industries.


    Here is an article about AT&T discussing filtering in an attempt to placate
    the R.I.A.A and M.P.A.A which was published in January

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/0...ter/index.html

    The problem of course is how you determine the legal from the illegal P2P
    download it's much easier just to block P2P totally. But even that won't work
    for long because the P2P networks will just move to using encryption over port
    443 to evade deep packet inspection.



    David Webb
    Security team leader
    CCSS
    Middlesex University


  16. Re: OT: Net Neutrality is far more serious than people realise

    In article <4846fbe2$0$20557$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei writes:
    >
    > Why do you think Comcast backed down on crippling BitTorrent protocol ?
    > BitTorrent Corp (who legally sells movies and other contents for a fee)
    > lawyers started to talk to Comcast about exactly that.


    Comcast announced that it will start throttling all heavy users,
    using the same tchnology they were going to use to throttle
    BitTorrent, but without looking inside the packet to see what kind
    of data they're throttling.

    Higher speeds will be available for a fee.


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