MPI-SWS

Glasnost: What can we infer about traffic shaping policies of ISPs?

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Glasnost has been designed to enable individual users to detect if their traffic is being shaped by ISPs. Using data gathered from individual users to infer throttling policies of ISPs is not straight-forward. First, we need to map users to their access ISPs. Second, we need a large sample of test users from each ISP. Third, the sample of test users should be representative (i.e., ideally a random sample) of the ISP's customer population.

Thus, Glasnost data can be used to infer if an ISP is deploying traffic shaping — by checking if the percentage of Glasnost tests for an ISP that indicate traffic shaping far exceeds the measurement noise. However, Glasnost data cannot be used to accurately infer how widely traffic shaping is deployed within an ISP, i.e., the percentage of the ISP's users who are affected by traffic shaping.

 

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