Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Paper on "Deep Packet Inspection and Internet Governance"

It seems that the DPI's recent public attention attracts legal, social and political research on the subject. The latest comes from Ralf Bendrath (right picture) and Milton Mueller.

See "The End of the Net as We Know it? Deep Packet Inspection and Internet Governance" - here


Advances in network equipment now allow internet service providers to monitor the content of data packets in real-time and make decisions about how to handle them. If deployed widely this technology, known as deep packet inspection (DPI), has the potential to alter basic assumptions that have underpinned Internet governance to date. The paper explores the way Internet governance is responding to deep packet inspection and the political struggles around it. Avoiding the extremes of technological determinism and social constructivism, it integrates theoretical approaches from the sociology of technology and actor-centered institutionalism into a new framework for technology-aware policy analysis.

The paper covers the common DPI use cases (network security, bandwidth management, Governmental surveillance, Content regulation, Copyright enforcement and Ad injection), discusses whether DPI is a "a disruptive technology" and concludes (regarding two of the presented cases):

"If ISPs have an interest in DPI usage for bandwidth management, they can and often will go ahead and just do it. When DPI is desired by third parties like copyright holders, on the other hand, those actors must invest heavily to make ISPs cooperate. In this respect, technology determines politics "

Related post "The Legality of DPI - Paper by Angela Daly" - here.

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