Net Neutrality and Information Security

There’s a very interesting article up on SANS Internet Storm Centerconcerning the security implications of the proposed Net Neutrality legislation that is being discussed ardently in some circles…

Briefly, network neutrality is designed to prevent ISPs from favoring certain websites over others (faster load times) or certain applications over others.  In short, it’s designed for consumer PC environments only (the exact environments that are pretty much the biggest nightmare on the internet).

The supporters of network neutrality would allow for filtering of illegal traffic, but the problem comes in with grey areas.  For instance, network neutrality would not allow ISPs to filter P2P traffic as a class.  P2P isn’t inherently illegal (as much as the MPAA/RIAA would like to say otherwise) however it isn’t generally used for honest purposes (with few exceptions).  For instance, on my network, when I see bittorrent I know someone is generally doing something bad.  Because DMCA makes ISPs responsible for P2P piracy of their users, some ISPs simply don’t allow P2P.  That would not be a viable option under a net neutrality regime.

This is something that we’re going to have to keep an eye on as it moves forward, because it will affect how we work and operate on the Internet…

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