Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 3:23am
RESEARCHER CREATES NET NEUTRALITY TEST
[SOURCE: ComputerWorld, AUTHOR: Robert McMillan]
A Seattle-based security researcher has devised a way to test for Net neutrality. The software can tell whether computers are treating some types of TCP/IP traffic better than others -- dropping data that is being used in voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls or treating encrypted data as second-class, for example. Dan Kaminsky calls his technique "TCP-based active probing for faults." He says that the software he's developing will be similar to the Traceroute Internet utility that is used to track what path Internet traffic takes as it hops between two machines on different ends of the network. But unlike Traceroute, Kaminsky's software will be able to make traffic appear as if it is coming from a particular carrier or is being used for a certain type of application, like VoIP. It will also be able to identify where the traffic is being dropped and could ultimately be used to finger service providers that are treating some network traffic as second-class. Kaminsky said he believes that Net neutrality will eventually become law and that the type of software he is developing will help keep the carriers honest. "If you're going to enforce by law that networks be neutral, the question becomes, 'How do you test for this?'" he said. "I'm going to make sure that the tools are going to be in place."
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