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Researcher's Tool Catches Net Neutrality Cheaters 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the why-so-slow? dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, researcher Dan Kaminsky announced he will release a free software tool for detecting when an Internet service provider is artificially slowing down or speeding up traffic to and from a website, a tool he is calling N00ter, or 'neutral router.' N00ter functions like a VPN, routing traffic through a proxy and disguising its source and destination. But instead of encrypting the traffic in both directions as VPNs do, it instead spoofs the traffic from a Web site to a user to make it seem to be coming from any Web site that the user wants to test. That traffic can be compared with a normal connection to the N00ter server without a spoofed IP address, to spot any artificial changes in speed."
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Researcher's Tool Catches Net Neutrality Cheaters

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  • Re:and where is it? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ProfanityHead (198878) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:45AM (#36984366)

    no link to the actual tool?!? wtf

    Article said "released" and "will release shortly". Take your pick I guess?

    At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, Kaminsky released a free software tool for detecting when an Internet service provider (ISP) is artificially slowing down or speeding up traffic to and from a website, a program the well-known security researcher is calling N00ter, or “neutral router.”

    Then:

    N00ter, a tool that Kaminsky plans to release in coming weeks

  • Re:Very cool tool (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @09:23AM (#36984778) Homepage

    With telecom, the libertarian solution simply doesn't work.

    Basic micro-econ depends on the idea that if the price of a good goes too high, more sellers enter the market to take advantage of the higher profits, which lowers the price due to competition, so the price returns to equilibrium. Equally important, if the price goes too high, buyers get priced out of the market and stop buying the service.

    However, with telecom, new sellers can't enter the market without regulations to support them. A new seller in the telecom market will not be able to get in - any established competitor (call them BS&S) won't make peering agreements at reasonable costs (because the value of the peering agreement is much greater to the newcomer than BS&S), which means any customers of the new guy won't be able to reach the vast majority of people with phones, which means nobody will become a customer, so the newcomer quickly goes out of business. Therefore, the government adds in a regulation requiring peering agreements at the cost of setting up the pipe between the peers. But now the newcomer has to get a signal from their switches to the customer, which means they have to either run lines to all of its customers (while BS&S can use the lines already there), or lease access to the lines from BS&S, who will charge a high enough price that the newcomer can't offer a lower price than BS&S, so the newcomer can't get any customers and goes out of business. So the government adds another regulation requiring BS&S to lease line access at cost.

    And you also have a situation where BS&S refuses to serve rural customers, or charge ridiculous prices to do so, because it's much more expensive to run a line out to them. The rural citizens complain that it's unfair that they have to pay $300 a month for phone service while city folk get it for $30. So the government adds another regulation saying that all competitors must sell the same service to all customers at the same price. But that means that the newcomer who's trying to enter the market by undercutting BS&S on price can't manage in a rural area because the cost of getting to the more remote customers is too high to make anything on it. So now the government has to differentiate between competitors who are required to serve rural customers at the same price as city folk from competitors that don't because they're newcomers.

    And the story continues, but the point is that governments don't just write regulations for the heck of it, and most of the telecom regulations exist for a reason.

  • Re:Very cool tool (Score:4, Informative)

    by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:18AM (#36986102)
    No. It doesn't mean a network is overcommitted. It may be overcommitted if everyone goes as fast as they possibly can with no throttling, but if you have tiered service then you need to make sure that people who don't pay for the bandwidth don't take away from the people who do.

    You can't hang your argument on saying because it is badly implemented by some, it is bad by default.

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