Deep Packet Inspection: Effects of Regulation on Its Deployment by Internet Providers
15 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 25, 2013
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
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