Unraveling the Economic and Political Drivers of Deep Packet Inspection
21 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2016 Last revised: 27 Jul 2016
Date Written: November 5, 2012
The use of Deep Packet Inspection technology has been the focus of a growing amount of scholarly work due to its impact on sensitive policy issues. In this paper we look at the use of DPI for throttling or blocking peer to peer protocols by 288 broadband operators over three years, and correlate this with economic and political variables. Our empirical data shows that as of 2011, half of the studied ISPs are actively using DPI in their networks, although to varying degrees. We examine the role of seven economic and political drivers of DPI technology based on typical use-cases: bandwidth scarcity, network security, competition, surveillance, privacy protections, censorship and the strength of copyright industries. Performing bivariate analysis, we find that a few of these drivers are significantly correlated with the use of DPI.
Keywords: DPI, deep packet inspection, internet governance, telecom policy, privacy regulation, network security, surveillance, censorship, bandwidth management
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