Monday, August 04, 2008

EFF offers "Switzerland" to check network for ISP interference


Electronic Frontier Foundation announced Aug. 1 that had released a product called “Switzerland” to enable users to check “the integrity of their Internet communications”. The testing package is intended to detect interference with your Internet traffic. The EFF Press Release is here.

The actual product is on a site called Sourceforge and the link for the download is here.

This package, the link says, was developed by or for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, and is not an external product already previously developed for some other purpose. But it is likely that it would become a general tool and that the product or similar products will eventually be offered by other companies, probably including those in the computer security industry. The general concept of a product like this seems to be the use of software monitoring tools from private sources to simulate “network neutrality” or to force ISP’s to adhere to neutrality principles with private tools and market principles rather than just government regulation. EFF maintains that the FCC is by itself unable to monitor ISPs for neutrality even in accordance with its own policies. Is this a libertarian example of “government doesn’t work”?

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