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Deep packet inspection and the thoughts of some experts

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How does society reconcile the technological benefits and privacy impacts of new technology? Deep packet inspection is just one seemingly neutral technological application that can have a significant impact on privacy rights and other basic civil liberties, especially as market forces, the enthusiasm of technologists and the influence of national security
interests grow stronger.

We have produced a web site meant to serve as a resource on deep packet inspection. It grew out of a desire at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to understand more about a technology that has application in network traffic management, behavioural advertising, and law enforcement.

In the summer and fall of 2008, we contacted leading academics and professionals working in telecommunications, law, privacy, civil liberties and computer science to ask if they would contribute a short essay to a project we were planning – a project that would help Canadians understand the impact of just one component of the technology that underlies our networked society.

The resulting project site presents the work of these academics, lawyers, researchers, activists and industry professionals. We value the time they invested in preparing their essays, and we are happy to present their work in a format that will, hopefully, encourage further discussion around deep packet inspection and similar technologies.

You will notice that this web site was developed with sharing in mind. There are opportunities for you to leave your comments about each essay – either through a written comment or by voting on the essay. We have built in links to some of the more popular content sharing services, in case you think some or all of the essays should be brought to the attention of friends, colleagues, legislators or others.

Or, alternatively, please feel free to send me your comments.

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