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Iran's Internet Censorship Creates Deep Packet Firestorm
Debate bubbles over surroundig Nokia-Siemen's work in Iran...
by Karl Bode 03:06PM Thursday Jun 25 2009
The network traffic snooping power of Deep packet inspection (DPI) has many legitimate uses on an ISP network, but has gained notoriety in recent years for its use in delivering behavioral ads, injecting ISP javascript banners into websites, and identifying (and ultimately filtering or throttling) P2P traffic. Like most technology DPI isn't inherently bad, but the way it can be used and mis-used by carriers or governments certainly may be.

Evolution in DPI technology has ISPs not only buying and selling your online habits, but hardware vendors push the technology as a new Internet policing solution, placing the onus on ISPs to someday compare every packet a user sends to a master database of what's legal or moral. The negative uses of DPI led to recent hearings exploring how broadband ISPs use the technology, and whether stronger privacy guidelines are needed.

The technology got an additional black eye this week when the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran was using Western-developed implementations of the technology by Nokia-Siemens to slow and censor traffic related to the ongoing protests in the country. Wired News claims a boycott of Nokia-Siemens has started, though evidence of the boycott seems scarce. Nokia Siemens, in a blog post, says the Journal got the story wrong:
quote:
The restricted functionality monitoring center provided by Nokia Siemens Networks in Iran cannot provide data monitoring, internet monitoring, deep packet inspection, international call monitoring or speech recognition. Therefore, contrary to speculation in the media, the technology supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks cannot be used for the monitoring or censorship of internet traffic.
Consumer advocacy firm Free Press proclaimed that the use of DPI in Iran is a warning for Americans about the abuse of DPI. Former AT&T engineer David Isenberg wonders if the Journal's using issues loved by "US techno-leftists" to push a long-standing Iran interventionist position. Since nobody can get into Iran to dig through their networks to check, the best we seem to be getting is speculation on what Iran's actually doing.

The entire debate's making deep packet inspection's already troubled reputation even worse. Lost in the mix is the fact that for all of its negative qualities, DPI can be used to help ISPs better manage information flow and bandwidth demand. However, in the wrong hands it can be an accessory to censorship and murder.

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33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

HEY BELL canada and rogers

what ya doing with DPI these days , is it anything like iran?

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: HEY BELL canada and rogers

said by 33358088:

HEY BELL canada and rogers, what ya doing with DPI these days , is it anything like iran?
That is an absurd supposition. If they were, then one of two things would have happened. You wouldn't have been able to post such a comment - it would have been blocked. Or two, if you had found a way to bypass the filters, you would have been arrested and imprisoned.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

Re: HEY BELL canada and rogers

Umm, no, if he was an AMERICAN, and he bypassed the filters, he would be arrested and imprisioned. Heil Homeland Security, papers please.
--
The happiest countries are the most secular. The struggle AGAINST corporations is the struggle FOR humanity!

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

2 edits

Nokia says just providing voice tapping capability

Basically, Nokia-Siemens says all their hardware can do is tap voice calls. No different than can be accomplished by any Central Office telephone center in the world. Police tap voice calls all over the world, some with warrants and some without.

»blogs.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/n···in-iran/
To clarify: Nokia Siemens Networks has provided Lawful Intercept capability solely for the monitoring of local voice calls in Iran. Nokia Siemens Networks has not provided any deep packet inspection, web censorship or Internet filtering capability to Iran.

In most countries around the world, including all EU member states and the U.S., telecommunications networks are legally required to have the capability for Lawful Intercept and this is also the case in Iran.

Nokia Siemens Networks provided TCI, the Iranian national operator, with the capability to conduct voice monitoring of local calls on its fixed and mobile network.
If Nokia is correct then the threatened boycott is unwarranted.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: Nokia says just providing voice tapping capability

As we know a company sponsored blog ALWAY tells 100% facts.

Robert Mueller

@rogers.com

2 recommendations

The question I keep asking every website is

WHY THE HELL ISN'T SSL IMPLEMENTED YET!

Even dslreports doesn't have https and this place goes on and on about DPI and ISP censorship.
Desdinova
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Gaithersburg, MD

1 recommendation

Hmmm...

As disheartened as I am by the Iranian government's handling of the situation over there, boycotting the hardware developers over here seems to make as much sense as boycotting automobile manufacturers every time someone gets hit by a car. A tool is a tool is a tool; abuse is in the hands of the user.
Corydon
Cultivant son jardin
Premium
join:2008-02-18
Denver, CO

Re: Hmmm...

What if that hardware company actively markets its products as the ideal tools of censorship and repression?
--
"Religion allows people who would otherwise be arguing about whether the Death Star could beat a Borg Cube to have a place of respect within society."

sdgf333

@suddenlink.net
thats a pretty poor analogy. Cars are not made to run over people and when that happens it is an accident 99% of the time. This tool, on the other hand, is developed and marketed to do just what it is doing in Iran. It is only a matter of time before it is deployed against us "in our best interests".
Desdinova
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Gaithersburg, MD
Regardless of how good or bad the analogy may be, or what the marketing for a product is, it's STILL the individual's choice whether or not to use the tool in a harmful way.
Corydon
Cultivant son jardin
Premium
join:2008-02-18
Denver, CO

Re: Hmmm...

So Glock should start marketing their handguns with the tagline "Now with more cop-killing stopping power!"?
Desdinova
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Gaithersburg, MD

Re: Hmmm...

So your argument is everyone who sees their marketing campaign will without reserve and exception buy a Glock specifically to kill cops? And further, they should not be charged because it's Glock's fault? You're saying that it if they didn't advertise it that way, no one would ever think of using it to that end? That no one has any motivation to use or abuse an item outside of what a marketing campaign orders?

Sorry, I don't agree. I don't care if Glock advertises that their guns will vaporize nuns and puppies with a single round to the back of the head, YOU'RE still the one who decides to aim at them and pull the trigger.

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

...

These filters aint doing such a good job...Anyone seen the video of Neda
Article: »www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-storie···1463873/


Iran's running of the bull...except with cops firing at will:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbf_40g3wDM

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

A "firestorm", huh?

People being killed by bullets and batons is pretty serious stuff; I don't think a bunch of blog posts and a boycott that no one showed up for qualifies as a "firestorm". Nice hyberbole though...

pspcrazy
Anime Freak

join:2008-02-06
San Diego, CA

Re: A "firestorm", huh?

The riot police there don't have the guns that people are being killed by. They don't even have guns, only the military does.

I have a feeling foreign powers are making some of the chaos occur over there, while some of it is caused by the people themselves.

Don't be so quick to judge a situation you've never seen except through your own controlled media.
--
My Anime Site - AnimeCrazy.net

TwoCpus4me

join:2003-10-16

Re: A "firestorm", huh?

Once you shut off the Press and kick out all the reporters from the country your credibility is nil.

There is no doubt for you to try and benefit here.

gfh44

@suddenlink.net

Re: A "firestorm", huh?

get with the times man, reporters stopped being the bastions of truth for a long time.

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA
said by pspcrazy:

The riot police there don't have the guns that people are being killed by. They don't even have guns, only the military does.

I have a feeling foreign powers are making some of the chaos occur over there, while some of it is caused by the people themselves.

Don't be so quick to judge a situation you've never seen except through your own controlled media.
You mean the same media that told you there was nothing to see? I know people who lived there and risked their lives to get out. The military are the police, and often the judge, jury and executioner when and how they want.

You sit and say the police don't have weapons, and that may be true... at least on paper. The reality is that whoever the government decides to give weapons has weapons, be they police, snitch, military or civilian.
--
Come let us reason together.
Vtr_Racing

join:2006-09-04
Pflugerville, TX

Twitter set your location to Tehran;

If you're on Twitter, set your location to Tehran; your timezone to GMT +3.30.

Not sure if this has any relevense or helps the the freedom seekers or not...
Iranian security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a log jam it creates for forces trying to shut down Iranians' access to the internet. Cut & paste; pass it on.
SiliconBandt

join:2008-05-24
Winnipeg, MB

Re: Twitter set your location to Tehran;

said by Vtr_Racing:

The more people at this location, the more of a log jam it creates for forces trying to shut down Iranians' access to the internet. Cut & paste; pass it on.
Timezone searches are just the first step in a trace.

Generally speaking though, I'm curious to see how long before net neutrality and corporate/government censorship clash in a serious firefight.
qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

Iran is a JOKE!

The govt. in Iran is a JOKE! It's much worse then the government it replaced (the Shah) which also sucked. And this election makes Iran a laughing stock banana republic in the eyes of the world.