Encrypt Your Stuff, People

by on July 26, 2007 · 14 comments

Good article by Ars’ Nate Anderson about deep packet inspection.

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Unfortunately, most ISPs that are implementing traffic shaping are closing the encryption loophole by simply throttling all encrypted traffic at their most restrictive rate.

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Whoops — hit submit too soon. Just wanted to add that I think this underscores the need for metered bandwidth. The current “all you can eat (but not really)” system creates perverse incentives for the ISPs. To maximize profitability they need to provide the absolute minimum amount of service that their customers will tolerate while still paying the one-size-fits-all rate. That’s not a good situation for consumers.

    ISPs should be *happy* when people use (and pay for) more of their network services — those are the conditions under which competition and innovation will flourish.

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Unfortunately, most ISPs that are implementing traffic shaping are closing the encryption loophole by simply throttling all encrypted traffic at their most restrictive rate.

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Whoops — hit submit too soon. Just wanted to add that I think this underscores the need for metered bandwidth. The current “all you can eat (but not really)” system creates perverse incentives for the ISPs. To maximize profitability they need to provide the absolute minimum amount of service that their customers will tolerate while still paying the one-size-fits-all rate. That’s not a good situation for consumers.

    ISPs should be *happy* when people use (and pay for) more of their network services — those are the conditions under which competition and innovation will flourish.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    A good example to explain to people why a one-size-fits-all package is bad would be your water bill. Water is essentially a renewable resource, and is the utility closest to bandwidth in that respect. Imagine having to subsidize every business and lazy home owner who wastes lot’s of water. Most people would agree that they should pay for what they use there. I think more people would like metered bandwidth if the ISPs would offer it incentives like a $10 connection fee and $0.25/GB downloaded.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    One issue that would come out of this, though, is that there would be new legislation to punish people for piggybacking on wireless networks. If you did that without permission, you would be rightfully declared guilty of theft of service.

  • Doug Lay

    >> Unfortunately, most ISPs that are implementing traffic shaping are closing the encryption loophole by simply throttling all encrypted traffic at their most restrictive rate.

    Fascinating. Do you have a link to evidence on this?

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    A good example to explain to people why a one-size-fits-all package is bad would be your water bill. Water is essentially a renewable resource, and is the utility closest to bandwidth in that respect. Imagine having to subsidize every business and lazy home owner who wastes lot’s of water. Most people would agree that they should pay for what they use there. I think more people would like metered bandwidth if the ISPs would offer it incentives like a $10 connection fee and $0.25/GB downloaded.

  • http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com MikeT

    One issue that would come out of this, though, is that there would be new legislation to punish people for piggybacking on wireless networks. If you did that without permission, you would be rightfully declared guilty of theft of service.

  • Doug Lay

    >> Unfortunately, most ISPs that are implementing traffic shaping are closing the encryption loophole by simply throttling all encrypted traffic at their most restrictive rate.

    Fascinating. Do you have a link to evidence on this?

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Doug: I’ve seen this story several times with different ISPs, but here’s the first thing that Google turned up:

    Rogers Fights BitTorrent by Throttling All Encrypted Transfers

    Needless to say, telecommuting VPN users are not pleased by this development.

    MikeT raises an interesting point, although of course filesharing means that metered bandwidth would really just intensify the already-present incentive for locking down your wifi. I’d be sorry to see the availability of open APs decline, but one can imagine projects like NoCatAuth or La Fonera offering functionality that would require payment for high-traffic use while allowing lighter-weight apps like VoIP or web access through. La Fonera in particular already has a system in place to encourage this sort of altruism. And Busboys & Poets, a coffeeshop not too far from my house, already offers free-bandwidth-to-a-point, with the limit determined by total transfer volume (each user gets a daily allotment).

  • http://www.manifestdensity.net Tom

    Doug: I’ve seen this story several times with different ISPs, but here’s the first thing that Google turned up:

    Rogers Fights BitTorrent by Throttling All Encrypted Transfers

    Needless to say, telecommuting VPN users are not pleased by this development.

    MikeT raises an interesting point, although of course filesharing means that metered bandwidth would really just intensify the already-present incentive for locking down your wifi. I’d be sorry to see the availability of open APs decline, but one can imagine projects like NoCatAuth or La Fonera offering functionality that would require payment for high-traffic use while allowing lighter-weight apps like VoIP or web access through. La Fonera in particular already has a system in place to encourage this sort of altruism. And Busboys & Poets, a coffeeshop not too far from my house, already offers free-bandwidth-to-a-point, with the limit determined by total transfer volume (each user gets a daily allotment).

  • Doug Lay

    Thanks, Tom.

    Boy, I hear a lot of bad things about Rogers. I wonder if they are a monopoly provider for the majority of their users or not?

    I’ll have to start keeping a closer eye on this stuff. If it gets bad enough, I may have to re-evaluate my general opposition to legislated net neutrality rules.

  • Doug Lay

    Thanks, Tom.

    Boy, I hear a lot of bad things about Rogers. I wonder if they are a monopoly provider for the majority of their users or not?

    I’ll have to start keeping a closer eye on this stuff. If it gets bad enough, I may have to re-evaluate my general opposition to legislated net neutrality rules.

Previous post:

Next post: