Updates From The Canadian Network Neutrality Fight

There have been some interesting updates to the net neutrality fight that I’d like to share with you today.

First, there’s Bell Canada’s sock puppet spokesperson Mirko Bibic (hope he doesn’t have a Facebook page like Bell’s last sock puppet spokesperson) who has an interview with CBC News. In it he tries to defend Bell’s traffic shaping activities. Rather than dissect the bullshit he’s spewing his arguments, I’ll simply let this DSLreports.com user sum it up for me. He’s hit the nail on the head (the full thread is available here). Hopefully CBC News gives independent ISP’s equal time to respond to his spin.

Next, the CRTC website has been updated with the responses from CAIP and Bell in regards to this issue. I’d grab a coffee, download the files and go through them if I were you, they make some interesting reading. In the case of Bell, I can sit here all day and dissect their response. But I won’t. Instead I’ll point out this. In section 08-1, Bell explains why they have DPI (deep packet inspection):

“The DPI devices were originally deployed with the intention of introducing customer usage data collection functionality for Bell Canada’s usage billing”

I don’t know about you, but this really freaks me out from a privacy standpoint. Why? Let’s dig deeper. According to Bell, the DPI devices deployed in Bell Canada’s network do not:

  • Use any personal identification information of an individual subscriber
  • Store or log any personally identifiable information
  • Have specific knowledge of a user’s real identity
  • Have knowledge of a user’s content
  • Have knowledge of a user’s URL browsing history
  • Have knowledge of a user’s Internet search activity
  • Have knowledge of a user’s email topics or content
  • Store content accessed by a subscriber
  • Cache any content, including subscriber-specific content, whatsoever
  • Capture and playback any communications exchange
  • Install or require any specific software on user machines

However if you keep reading Bell states that theoretically they can configure it to track specific information and even the content of the packet. So what basically they’re saying is they can track whatever they want but there isn’t a reason to worry because they aren’t actually doing it yet. To top it all off, they even go as far to say that they’re not violating user privacy because they don’t know who’s the actual human sitting at the computer.

All together now: Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?

This is precisely why we need a bill like the one Charlie Angus has tabled. Bell can’t be trusted to do the right thing, so there has to be some amount of government oversight.

Of course, Bell would rather that you just drink the Kool Aid and be happy since they know what’s good for you.

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