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EFF Releases Tool For Testing ISP Interference 96

Posted by kdawson
from the switzerland-as-in-neutrality dept.
Placid notes that the EFF has announced Switzerland, a tool for testing if your ISP is interfering with your Net connection (e.g. by resetting BitTorrent transfers). It's command-line only at this point. Of course the tool is FOSS, and you can contribute to it via its SourceForge project. From the announcement: "Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs, and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets."
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EFF Releases Tool For Testing ISP Interference

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  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @02:52PM (#24450179) Journal

    A dozen Blackberrys are ringing.

    Look, Tim. I know it's Saturday but I need you to get to the switching center and shut down project ticktock right away. We're about to have some serious liability issues with it.

    After the weekend we can start on a workaround.

  • This things require root and I am not knoledgable enough to investigate the source code.
    As I have not suitable testing environment, I will have to wait trusting Ubuntu or Debian for a pre-packaged version.

    I strongly advice you, non-techy, non-programmer to be patient and wait a bit your Linux distribution or vendor to provide a package.

    • by retroStick (1040570) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:09PM (#24450301)

      But it's from the Electronic Frontier Foundation! If you can't trust them to be non-evil, who can you trust?

      • by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:15PM (#24450343)

        If you can't trust them to be non-evil, who can you trust?

        Completely? No one. Not even yourself.

        However, it's likely this tool is relatively safe.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        you just got trolled

      • The EFF is opposed to laws against spam, opposed to black lists to avoid spam, etc. They claim spam is free speech. They are on the spammers side. They are evil.
    • Just use it from a LiveCD (with HDDs unplugged or controllers disabled) or run it in Qemu :)
    • by interiot (50685) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @04:10PM (#24450691) Homepage

      Yeah, all tools that do tcpdump/Wireshark-style packet inspection require root (you don't want normal user programs sniffing everything). It's true that it's alpha quality code that does TCP communications, so it's a good idea to not leave it running all the time, and/or wait until a beta version has been released.

      A bigger issue is that some of your sniffed packets are sent in the clear to EFF, so 1) it's possible that a third party could sniff those few packets (but it's only a handful of packets, but it could still cause problems, and 2) if you use EFF's server, you have to trust EFF with the handful of sniffed packets you send them (but you can run your own server). It's too complicated to summarize in a few sentences, see the README.txt in the package.

      They do say they'll fix the issue that third parties could sniff your packets though (by doing the obvious thing and encrypting them between endpoints), so again, waiting for a later version might be a good idea.

    • Not in debian unstable ... or experimental, yet.
    • by kv9 (697238)

      This things require root and I am not knoledgable enough to investigate the source code.

      paranoid much?

      As I have not suitable testing environment, I will have to wait trusting Ubuntu or Debian for a pre-packaged version.

      install it in a VM. why do you trust the noobuntuan devs more than EFF? do you even know what EFF is?

      I strongly advice you, non-techy, non-programmer to be patient and wait a bit your Linux distribution or vendor to provide a package.

      thanks.

    • by irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @07:37PM (#24451877) Journal

      Debian's not exactly the most trustable team considering they INTRODUCED a bug into what I'd consider the most important to security package there is(OpenSSL).

      When the people who are responsible for verifying the security of a package add their own exploit, and nobody finds it for many months of heavy use.. you sort of just tore down your web of trust.

  • What? (Score:4, Funny)

    by gparent (1242548) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:29PM (#24450427)
    I thought Switzerland was a country!
  • The download link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Exanon (1277926) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:31PM (#24450451)
  • by cwtrex (912286) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @03:46PM (#24450539) Journal

    Switzerland is alpha software. Remarkably, it runs on lots of different operating systems (we've seen it work on Linux, OS X, BSD and Windows XP), but because it's alpha software we can't promise that it's easy to install on all of these operating systems. We're looking for volunteers to help with a Windows installer!

    So for those looking for an easy install in Windows, you won't find it yet. Seems like cgywin under Windows XP is indeed the way to go.

    • So... the fact I had it running in windows, fairly easily, yesterday morning (and then i wrote an article about it here [torrentfreak.com]) despite not exactly being a code monkey (to be honest, I find those that have the time for all that, should find a proper use for their time) and yet it works great.
      • by cwtrex (912286)
        Nice article, but it doesn't explain how to get the program up and running in a few minutes like a Windows installer and an icon on the desktop would do. I'm assuming what you did to get it up and running took more than 5 minutes?

        Also, after reading a few of the posts with those that DID have difficulty, those that used cgywin as I stated earlier did not have issues with it. Those that tried to follow the directions for windows without using cgywin DID encounter issues such as this guy. [slashdot.org]

        Kudos for the
  • mehh (Score:5, Funny)

    by binarybum (468664) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @04:42PM (#24450863) Homepage

    I'm working on a much more straightforward app that will be nearly as accurate on a large scale - it just scans your ip address and matches it against a list of known comcast ip classes - a hit means you're being throttled!

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by v1 (525388)

      does this deal with throttling, (delaying packets) or with modifying traffic? (forging RST etc) From what I read it doesn't care about how long your packets take to get there.

    • by aztektum (170569)

      Sadly I can't really laugh at this. I live in Portland, OR. I use to not have a problem, when Ubuntu 8.04 was out, my torrent for that was blazing. I tried to download the updated disc image (mostly to see if Comcast had started to pull their shenanigans) and it starts out blazing then begins to peter out to 10-15k/s

      Dicks

  • by puusism (136657) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @05:15PM (#24451103) Homepage

    It is often a bad idea to select a project name that is a common dictionary word. It makes the project almost ungooglable and also dilutes the original meaning of the name -- I wonder if the nation of Switzerland wants to be associated with this piece of software. The global English dictionary namespace isn't running out yet, so we don't need to start reusing words.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I keep hearing people say this but yet no one ever suggests an alternative name, or fails completely at seeing the overwhelming number of projects/products with common names. And of course names like Snargleblad or some other BS are oh so easy to remember.

      Ever think maybe that Switzerland was chosen for a reason? Perhaps because it is NEUTRAL??? As should be the internet, and this tool helps to determine if you ISP is in fact neutral regarding traffic management.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Alright. How about the "Comcastrator"?
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        I keep hearing people say this but yet no one ever suggests an alternative name

        Britney Spears secret sex scene.WMV.exe

    • It is often a bad idea to select a project name that is a common dictionary word. It makes the project almost ungooglable and also dilutes the original meaning of the name -- I wonder if the nation of Switzerland wants to be associated with this piece of software. The global English dictionary namespace isn't running out yet, so we don't need to start reusing words.

      Yes, this is a fair point and we talked about changing the name before launch for this reason. But despite a lot of brainstorming, we couldn't think of a better name. If you want to search for Switzerland, add a word like "eff" or "isp" or "packet" or "network" to your google search. Maybe if we're successful enough we'll end up on the first page of results for a simple "switzerland" search at some point.

  • I have been ordering stuff from Red China over the Internet and paying with $ dollars.

  • by NewbieV (568310) <victor.abrahamsen+slashdot@gmail. c o m> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @07:19PM (#24451785)

    There are a few packages available on the Network Neutrality Squad's website [nnsquad.org]:

    (These were mentioned on Slashdot a little while back)

  • svn co https://switzerland.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/switzerland switzerland
    cd switzerland
    <run everything below as root>
    python setup.py install
    apt-get install python-scapy
    apt-get install python-psyco
    apt-get install ntp
    /etc/init.d/ntp stop
    ntpdate-debian
    reboot
    switzerland-client

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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