17 January, 2007

Telcos Need to Inspect Your Data Packets to Filter Content

Daniel Berninger posted a great article on GigaOm about how Internet bandwidth providers would need to inspect your data packets to provide non-neutral routing. More importantly than having net neutrality, Mr. Berninger points out the privacy issue of this behavior -- something that telcos are forbidden to do with telephones. So why should they be allowed to with Internet data?

I believe he makes a good point. In addition to being no different than telephone calls, it reminds me of the AOL mistake of publishing search data of more than 650,000 users. In the wrong hands, which they could not ever guarantee it wouldn't be, would provide data about everything you do, all your account information, your hobbies, and any other information you want to keep private. Remember that Thelma Arnold was the first person (publicly) found from the AOL data -- and this was only search data, not websites, account numbers, and other data you enter into websites.

Perhaps it is time to use the same privacy tools at home as you would use when traveling.

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