Implications of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Internet Surveillance for Society.

Fuchs, Christian (2012) Implications of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Internet Surveillance for Society. Working Paper. PACT.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


This research paper analyses societal implications of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technologies. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) surveillance technologies are communications surveillance tools that are able to monitor the traffic of network data that is sent over the Internet at all seven layers of the OSI Reference Model of Internet communication, which includes the surveillance of content data. The analysis presented in this paper is based on product sheets, self‐descriptions, and product presentations by 20 European security technology companies that produce and sell DPI technologies. For each company, we have conducted a document analysis of the available files. It focused on the four following aspects: 1) Description and use of the Internet surveillance technologies that are produced and sold. 2) The self‐description of the company. 3) The explanation of the relevance of Internet surveillance, i.e. why the company thinks it is important that it produces and sells such technologies. 4) A documentation of what the company says about opportunities and problems that can arise in the context of Internet surveillance. The assessment of societal implications of DPI is based on opinions of security industry representatives, scholars, and privacy advocates that were voiced in white papers, tech reports, research reports, on web‐ sites, in press releases, and in news media. The results can be summarized in the form of several impact dimensions: 1. Potential advantages of DPI 2. Net neutrality 3. The power of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for undermining users’ trust 4. Potential function creep of DPI surveillance 5. Targeted advertising 6. The surveillance of file sharers 7. Political repression and social discrimination The conducted analysis of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technologies shows that there is a variety of potential impacts of this technology on society. A general conclusion is that for understanding new surveil‐ lance technologies, we do not only need privacy and data protection assessments, but broader societal and ethical impact assessments.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: Acknowledgement: The research presented in this paper was conducted in the project “PACT – Public Perception of Security and Privacy: Assessing Knowledge, Collecting Evidence, Translating Research into Action”, funded by EU FP7 SECURITY, grant agreement no. 285635
Uncontrolled Keywords: surveillance, DPI, Deep Packet Inspection, Internet surveillance, societal implications, tech‐ nology assessment, society, information society, Internet Studies
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
SWORD Depositor:
Depositing User:
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 11:05
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2015 15:06

Actions (login required)

Edit Item (Repository staff only) Edit Item (Repository staff only)