Day Eleven: Deep packet inspection an option for torrent traffic

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Day Eleven: Deep packet inspection an option for torrent traffic

Current traffic volume guestimates based on "media reports".

ISP iiNet had assessed the volume of peer-to-peer traffic on its network only using global estimates and media reports, its chief Michael Malone alleged in the Federal Court yesterday.

In response to a question on how he was aware of traffic running across the iiNet network, Malone alleged that "because BitTorrent is a common protocol, we know the traffic is in use" and that he'd "seen many media reports of how much [peer-to-peer] traffic was passing across the internet."

"So the only basis for which you're aware [of the amount of peer-to-peer traffic on your network] is because you read it in the newspaper?" Bannon put to Malone.

"To my knowledge we've never measured [the amount of peer-to-peer traffic] on the iiNet network as a measure of [total] traffic," Malone alleged.

Bannon put it to Malone that he was aware of peer-to-peer traffic on the iiNet network "because you have the means within the system of knowing what traffic is passing across your network".

"There's a means of doing it but it's something we haven't done," Malone alleged.

"That's nonsense, isn't it?" Bannon responded.

"You were about to disclose in court [that iiNet had the systems to measure how much peer-to-peer traffic was passing through], but you immediately caught yourself up and started talking about media reports?" Bannon pressed.

"No," Malone stated.

The "means" of measuring traffic types was alleged to be the use of a protocol called deep packet inspection (DPI). Malone said iiNet already used DPI on its network to operate its "freezone" of legal content.

"We need to be able to isolate certain types of traffic and make it free," Malone alleged.

He conceded DPI could be used to assess peer-to-peer traffic levels across the network but that capability would be an "order of magnitude more expensive than what's being done [on iiNet's network with DPI] today."

The case continues. You can follow the case in-full here. For a background on the case, click here.

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