[Update] The presentation by Andreas Kühn is now available for download (PDF).
The Journal Club is an experimental format for the exchange of scientific ideas, thought provoking artefacts and internal evaluations of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. It is organized by participants of the institutes Doctoral Programme and will be open to the public on special occasions.
Deep Packet Inspection, Public Pressure and Regulatory Actions:
Comparative Cases on Online Copyright Enforcement and Behavioral Targeted Advertising
Abstract of the talk
Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a network surveillance technology that enables operators to scan Internet traffic in real time and make automated decisions about what to do with it.
As part of a larger research project at Syracuse University on Deep Packet Inspection and Internet Governance, we analyze particular deployments that generated political, legal and regulatory conflicts. We explore how DPI capabilities lead to strategic interactions among network operators pursuing their business interests, government agencies seeking control, activists fighting for privacy or net neutrality, politicians and regulators responding to publicity, legislators and courts resolving disputes.
This talk will provide an overview of DPI technology and its implications on Internet Governance, focusing on two applications: online copyright enforcement and online behavioral advertising. These applications of DPI technology sparked public and political controversies in Europe and the U.S., leading to intense policy debates with different outcomes. The narrative follows four stages that we have found in similar case studies of DPI deployments: 1) unilateral deployment; 2) uncontrolled public disclosure of the deployment; 3) civil activism around net neutrality and privacy norms; and 4) political, legal and regulatory proceedings to resolve the conflicts. This framework highlights the interaction of technical, economic and institutional factors that are at work when politically contested technologies with a disruptive potential are deployed on the Internet.
This research is based upon comprehensive analysis of political and legal documents and a series of interviews with DPI vendors, Internet advocates, and engineers. For more information about the project, visit our website http://deeppacket.info
Andreas Kuehn is a Ph.D. student and Fulbright Scholar at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y. His research interests center on information policy, and science and technology studies, with a particular focus on Internet Governance and the application of Deep Packet Inspection for copyright enforcement and behavioral targeted advertising.
Kuehn received a M.Sc. in Information Systems in 2006 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His previous work on information management in the public sector includes research on interoperability, standardization, and government architecture. The Austrian Computer Society awarded his work with an eGovernment Innovation prize in 2009.
Previous appointments include the Austrian Ministry of Finance (2006) and the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (2010). In summer 2011, Kuehn was a visiting scholar at the National Advanced IPv6 Centre of Excellence, Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia.