Glasnost: Detecting BitTorrent Traffic Blocking

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At a high-level, our test sets up a series of BitTorrent flows between an end user's host and our Glasnost test servers. We collect the packet trace for each flow on the server side, and we closely monitor both end points for any error conditions that might cause a flow to be aborted. If a flow is aborted by a control (RST) packet that was not sent by either of the end points, we report the flow as being blocked by some ISP along its path.

More specifically, we report a BitTorrent connection as blocked only when: Note: At this point of time, our reporting of BitTorrent blocking is conservative i.e., there are scenarios when a BitTorrent connection is blocked but we do not report it because it does not meet our rather stringent checks. For example, we exclude BitTorrent connections that might have been blocked after a few data bytes have been transferred. Similarly, we exclude blocked connections for which we cannot parse the IOException string thrown by the client JVM (the exception varies between JVMs, and especially between different languages). We are actively working to improve our methodology and we expect to uncover more cases of blocking over time.



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