Touring the digital through type

Tag: Reviews (Page 2 of 3)

Summary: CRTC PN 2008-19; Requests for Public Disclosure Filings

200901222144.jpgI’ve just completed a summary document that pulls together the requests for disclosure from the various advocacy groups currently involved in the CRTC’s PN 2008-19 (ISP Internet Management Techniques). A few things that I found of interest:

  1. TELUS is being used as a lever against the other ISPs; the common metric is “TELUS released all this information in public, so what justification can the rest of the ISPs have for filing in confidence?”
  2. Public Interest Advocacy Center (PAIC) really focused on Bell and Rogers, and noted repeatedly that Bell has filed items in confidence in this public notice that it had been forced to file in public previously. Also, where Bell could claim confidentiality last time (Canadian Association of Internet Providers [CAIP] v Bell), this isn’t the case now because all the major ISPs will be forced to show their hands at the same time.
  3. Without historical and projected growth, it is impossible for public groups to argue whether or not current managing practices are appropriate. This data needs to be released so that they can fully response to the CRTC’s public notice.
  4. The Campaign for Democratic Media (CDM) is willing to have all of the ISPs’ traffic aggregated, so long as it is disclosed publicly what the trends are.
  5. CDM notes that without information on the top 5% and 10% of users, that it is impossible to ascertain what their actual impact on total bandwidth has been.
  6. CAIP, PAIC, and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) all argue that it is important for clear, technical, explanations of congestion be provided – without this, it is challenging to effectively interrogate what is, or isn’t, happening on ISPs’ networks.
  7. PIAC stands that, if Bell didn’t have a congestion metric in place prior to January 2007 then they should be obligated to disclose information in public on the basis that their definitions of congestion need to be examined more closely than others (unstated, but this is in part because they are such a major player in Canada).
  8. CFTPA holds that Bell’s networking diagram is good, because it offers specifics into their network. In light of Bell’s submission, other parties should submit similarly detailed diagrams, with devices clearly labeled, so that members of the public can meaningfully comment on whether the network components use by ISPs are adequate or not.
  9. CAIP, CDM, PAIC, and CFTPA all maintain that knowing what products are being used to manage Internet traffic is critical – without this information it is challenging to actually comment on how throttling is occurring. CDM raises the privacy issue with DPI.

Summary: CRTC PN 2008-19; ISP Traffic Managment in Canada

200901191751.jpgAs someone who is academically invested in how the ‘net is being regulated in Canada, I’ve been following the recent CRTC investigation into Internet management practices and regulation with considerable interest. Given that few people are likely to dig though the hundreds of pages that were in the first filing, I’ve summarized the responses from ISPs (save for Videotron’s submissions; I don’t read French) to a more manageable 50 pages. Enjoy!

Update: Thanks to Eric Samson and Daniel for translating Videotron’s filings – you guys rock!

Trinkets: Acer Aspire One Review

200901191559.jpgI’ve recently become responsible for the upkeep of an Aspire One netbook. My thoughts, thus far: wait for a while, get another model than I did, and dump Linpus as quick as possible. First, I’ll provide the actual specs for the netbook in the house, and then outline my thoughts a bit more.

Acer Aspireone (AOA110-1531 (Refurbished))

  • Sapphire Blue
  • Intel Atom Processor N270 (512KB L2 cache, 1.60GHz, 533MHz FSB)
  • 512BM DDR2 533 SDRAM
  • 8GB SSD
  • Card Reader
  • 802.11b/g WLAN
  • 10/100 LAN
  • Webcam
  • 8.9″ WSVGA (1024X600)
  • 3 cell battery
  • Preload with Linux

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Review: Privacy On The Line

200901181405.jpgThis updated edition of Diffie and Landau’s text is a must-have for anyone who is interested in how encryption and communicative privacy politics have developed in the US over the past century or so. Privacy On The Line moves beyond a ‘who did what’ in politics, instead seeing the authors bring their considerable expertise in cryptography to bear in order to give the reader a strong understanding of the actual methods of securing digital transactions. After reading this text, the reader will have a good grasp on what types of encryption methods have been used though history, and strong understandings of the value and distinction between digital security and digital privacy, as well as an understanding of why and how data communications are tracked.

The only disappointment is the relative lack of examination of how the US has operated internationally – there is very little mention of the OECD, nor of European data protection, to say nothing of APEC. While the authors do talk about the role of encryption in the context of export control, I was a bit disappointed at just how little they talked about the perceptions of American efforts abroad – while this might have extended slightly beyond the American-centric lens of the book, it would have added depth of analysis (though perhaps at the expense of making the book too long for traditional publication). One of the great elements of this book is an absolutely stunning bibliography, references, and glossary – 106 pages of useful reference material ‘fleshes out’ the already excellent analysis of encryption in the US.

Ultimately, if you are interested in American spy politics, or in encryption in contemporary times, or in how these two intersect in the American political arena, then this text is for you.

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