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Deep Packet Inspection: Effects of Regulation on Its Deployment by Internet Providers

15 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2013

Hadi Asghari

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

Michel van Eeten

Delft University of Technology

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information

Milton Mueller

Georgia Institute of Technology

Date Written: September 25, 2013

Abstract

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) has been the subject of heated policy debates. This paper examines theoretically and empirically patterns of DPI adoption during the past four years. An examination of the data revealed that in 2010, around two thirds of all broadband operators worldwide made noticeable or pervasive use of DPI for bandwidth management purposes. This figure was high in light of the public and regulatory unease over the use of these technologies. In 2012, this figure drops to around one third of the examined ISPs. What is less understood is the extent to which government policies encourage or discourage DPI adoption by ISPs. We explore those forces and find evidence that regulatory frameworks exert influence on the adoption of DPI. Using an integrated modelling approach, we hypothesized that all other things being equal, stringent privacy regulation would discourage the use of DPI, whereas Internet filtering policies would encourage it. There are also countries where neither is present. In those cases, we hypothesized that the ISPs own incentives dominate adoption. We conclude the paper with a discussion of policy implications.

Keywords: Deep Packet Inspection, Internet Governance, Privacy Regulation, Network Neutrality, Telecom Regulation

Suggested Citation

Asghari, Hadi and van Eeten, Michel and Bauer, Johannes M. and Mueller, Milton, Deep Packet Inspection: Effects of Regulation on Its Deployment by Internet Providers (September 25, 2013). TPRC 41: The 41st Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2242463 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2242463

Hadi Asghari (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 5015
2600 GB Delft
Netherlands

Michel Van Eeten

Delft University of Technology ( email )

PO Box 5015
Delft, 2600GA
Netherlands

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States
517-355-8372 (Phone)
517-355-1292 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~bauerj

Milton Mueller

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

School of Public Policy
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States
404-385-4281 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.spp.gatech.edu/faculty/milt

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