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Dutch Provider KPN Under Fire Over DPI

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-a-printer-scandal dept.

Privacy 77

An anonymous reader writes "After Dutch internet/mobile provider KPN announced they were going to blatantly do away with the idea of net-neutrality by charging their customers for using text message replacements (such as WhatsApp) to make up for diminishing use of traditional text-messaging, it has now been revealed that they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services) — which happens to be illegal in the Netherlands. Many national news outlets are now finally reporting on the issue. Some doubts exists on whether it was actually DPI that was used to measure WhatsApp use (and not just IP/TCP header inspection), while some KPN insiders suggested it is actually an outsourced operation run by Alcatel-Lucent." Update: 05/13 20:26 GMT by S : The Dutch equivalent of the EFF has recommended that users report this to the police, and explained how to go about doing so (Google translation of Dutch original).

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Simple (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119038)

Switch provider, next case.

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119272)

After they break into your house, you also operate by this simple advice of yours and switch homes?

Re:Simple (-1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119310)

So... You stopped taking you meds and now you're PSYCHOTIC?

It shows.

Re:Simple (1)

Betaemacs (1737586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121146)

You seem to have trouble with the concept so I'll help out. Paziek was using the scenario of a physical invasion of privacy to illustrate the problem with letting providers invade the privacy of online communications. I will assume you have a problem with the stark symbolism that paziek used as that is the only reason I can see for your personal attack. However some people online seem to have a problem understanding abstract concepts and it is often safer to use very strong examples to avoid confusion. Please correct me if I am wrong paziek.

Re:Simple (0)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119406)

Yes.

Re:Simple (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120336)

While "switching homes" is a bit off, this would be like "taking a short 150 mile detour to work" because a toll-road owner of the only geographically feasible bridge in the area decided that you have to undergo anal probes each time you cross their bridge, for an extra fee! Which of course happens to be the only convenient way to get to your work, other "alternatives" shortening your day by 6 hours. So you are being advised by all sorts of market-freediot fundamentalists to put yourself at the tender mercies of some supposed, theoretical "market forces" that are, somehow, theoretically, magically, supposed to kick in and overcome all practicality, geography and laws of physics, not to mention corruption.

Or something.

The sane solution of course would be not to allow any exclusive toll-road idiocy but to, if involvement of private companies is applicable, have all the roads (conduits in case of ISPs etc) or other geographically-restricted access ways to be owned by the city and only lease parallel portions of them to as many various service providers as possible to ensure maximum competition. It would be the equivalent of the bridge having 5 lanes and each of them being serviced by a different company. Drivers could then choose whose lane is the best maintained and has the best toll. Homeowners could likewise choose which ISP, or maybe even which combination of ISPs, should light up the municipality-owned fiber to their home.

The result of such a simple scheme would be actual competition (well, in case of ISPs - 5 lanes of a bridge is not enough to prevent collusion). But in case of ISPs it would be actual market forces at work. Monopoly-busting low barriers to entry for new companies (at least for the last mile issue, peering would have to be addressed too).

But this of course requires sane governance, which if the way things are going in the so-called "Western Democracies" keep up, will soon be more rare then hen's teeth.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120694)

Nice strawman there. It would be a shame if something were to knock it down.

Re:Simple (0)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120738)

Login and I will reply. ACs do not get that privilege.

Re:Simple (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121414)

Except when you reply to them.

Re:Simple (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123820)

That wasn't what I would term an actual reply. More like a placeholder for one.

But yes, while I try to stick to my policy, I am only human. We all have our moments of weakness now and again.

Re:Simple (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36128580)

Stop being an elitist prick (I didn't make that post BTW). Refusing to make a rebuttal because it is AC is akin to categorically modding down a user based on the name.

Re:Simple (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36145270)

Sure, I will stop as soon as people will stop logging out, down-modding the posts they don't like and then replying to them as ACs for the extra kick...

There is a reason why you can't moderate the discussion in which you participate and its a good one. ACs have a right to their opinion but I also have a right to ignore them.

Re:Simple (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119572)

So you are going to be paying the cancelation fee for them?

Re:Simple (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120026)

As I understand the case, DPI might not actually be illegal per se, but you can't do it without the customer's consent. And there's nothing about DPI in the current agreement. So, to continue to use this they will have to offer new terms to their customers, who then have the option to accept them or cancel without fees or penalties (or the company can offer to keep the old terms until the end of your contract, which they often do in case of contracts with subsidized handsets).

Re:Simple (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120236)

Why do you need customer consent?
They normally reserve the right to manage their network as they see fit. You would need to prove this was a material change. If you were in the USA you would probably be stuck in arbitration.

Re:Simple (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120494)

Right. So you wouldn't mind the post office to open and read all your mail if they say it is used to optimise logistics?

Re:Simple (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122396)

I sure would, but they don't make me sign one of those agreements to get service. I don't like with the practice, just pointing out that short of regulation you really can't do anything about it.

Re:Simple (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120030)

When your terms of contract change, you can cancel it.

Re:Simple (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120752)

Bear in mind this is the Netherlands, not the USA. The terms under which contracts work may not be the same.

Re:Simple (1)

isama (1537121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121128)

it is the same afaik (duch guy here :( )

Re:Simple (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123250)

It's the same. in fact, knowing the state of US consumer "protection" legislation, it's undoubtedly stronger than US laws.

Summary. (1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119068)


KPN are thieving cunts.

Drop & Encrypt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119110)

Do the Dutch not have as many choices as everyone else? My first instinct would be to drop them and go with another company. When they ask why specify exactly why. Suing them to stop the ordeal just feeds money to the lawyers, who will continue to advise them ahead of time that its a Good Idea

Secondly, communications apps really need to start taking encryption seriously. The fact that any intermediate party knows anything about your communications other than where they need to route it always resorts to problems. Save us all the hassle, please.

Re:Drop & Encrypt (2)

Meph0 (1024431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119450)

There are three physical networks in the Netherlands. KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile. The first two have admitted to using DPI (or SPI), some form of PI at least. Then there's the 50 operators who use those three networks to offer their servers, but it's unclear whether KPN uses DPI on their traffic as well (it's their network of course). Another problem: KPN and Vodafone have a good network (speed and coverage), while T-Mobile's sucks. So it's either sucky coverage or DPI as it stands now. In a few weeks, DPI probably won't be used because of all the media attention. Problem solved.

Re:Drop & Encrypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36131904)

For ISDN connected subscribers, both options are futile.

On DSL links, KPN is known to throttle otherwise low speed internet traffic, effectively making it unusable.

At least one of the types of traffic KPN throttles is encrypted VPN traffic.

KPN is a DSL network provider while they also own several if not the majority of ISPs (in terms of subscriber count) in the Netherlands.

Other ISPs using a mostly non-KPN network infrastructure include Online (T-Mobile) which doesn't provide DSL over ISDN. Subscribers using ISDN equipment would have to downgrade their equipment to PSTN based equipment in order to be able to switch to a non-KPN network and internet service provider.

Whether ISPs or network providers are required to make it clear that they inspect traffic doesn't remedy the situation because, amongst many reasons, it doesn't prevent all network providers, which are few in number, to start inspecting and, in the process, degrading traffic.

I'm old. (4, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119176)

I read DPI and thought dots per inch.

Re:I'm old. (1)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119396)

Don't feel bad, I am 23 and I thought the same thing. I next assumed KPN was a 'dutch provider' of publishing services for magazines.

Re:I'm old. (2)

Lodewijk (3307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120298)

I'm 31, Dutch, and when I read KPN, I think of Khan Process Networks. KPN should have gone bankrupt about ten years ago. They are the old state telecommunications company, and twenty years after privatization they still rank among the most evil ISP's, and they seem to get worse every week.

I remember them blocking all incoming and outgoing traffic to port 25 without prior notice, even on business DSL lines. I remember them illegaly refusing colocation to competing ISP's on their state-built infrastructure, expoiting their monopoly to suppress competition. I remember them refusing to release domainnames I registered by them, because they said they now owned the domain... I remember them selling expensive DSL lines with more than 1:200 overbooking, resulting in oversaturated dog-slow connections any time a day, then bullying complaining customers.... That kind of things. and now DPI.

Re:I'm old. (1)

Maximus633 (1316457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119434)

I am just as old... I saw that and was like why is a provider in trouble over dots per inch...

Re:I'm old. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119630)

I'm the AC that submitted the story, and I apologize for the confusion, I just couldnt think up a better subject that would fit. But hey at least I tricked you into reading the summary, yay :)

Re:I'm old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119600)

Insightful? Honestly?

Re:I'm old. (1)

Betaemacs (1737586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123472)

You know that companies are using astroturfing bots right? So I assume they sometimes get mod points too :-)

actually, the new acronym for DPI is TPM (4, Informative)

Chirs (87576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119802)

The equipment vendors are aware that "deep packet inspection" has negative connotations, and at least some of them are now using the term "traffic and policy management" or TPM.

Doesn't that sound nice and innocuous?

Why can't they come up with a unique acronym? (1)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121876)

The equipment vendors are aware that "deep packet inspection" has negative connotations, and at least some of them are now using the term "traffic and policy management" or TPM.

Doesn't that sound nice and innocuous?

Great. Nobody would ever confuse it with the other TPM [wikipedia.org] .

You'd hope these acronym buffoons would eventually try Googling their three-letter combinations to see if they've already been used in the computing field.

Re:Why can't they come up with a unique acronym? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36124002)

They should call it DPV, or "deep packet voyeurism".

Re:actually, the new acronym for DPI is TPM (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36124972)

I prefer Real-time Automated Policy Enforcement.

Re:I'm old. (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119914)

The difference is that in DPI issues relating to printers/displays, you know the resolution in advance.

I love hating as much as the next guy... (-1, Troll)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119350)

...but in this case KPN is actually fully authorized to do that (unless DPI is illegal in the Netherlands). After all, the customers who are hit with the extra costs are actually doing something illegal, and they could just as well be brought to court or otherwise penalized in some much worse way. Granted, it's a bad law for us consumers, but it's still a law - just as there are laws against piracy and RIAA/MPAA act upon those laws. KPN acts in a much more sensible way, and while I wish we could just get away with our smart solutions I think their way of doing it is a huge step up from what the others do.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119410)

Excuse me, but since when is using WhatsApp and Skype illegal? They have deminishing profits from text messaging, so they want to charge for specific kinds of data traffic.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119438)

Could you explain what was illegal about not using text messages?

(If you are reading it from the summary, the 'illegal' in the summary refers to the use of deep packet inspection.)

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (0)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119514)

Well, that will teach me always to RTFA before i write a comment... I thought VoIP and text messaging apps were illegal in the Netherlands (damn ambiguity). Anyway, in Sweden using your data connection for VoIP is against the EULA in all carriers I know of so I figured it could very well be illegal in the Netherlands.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119606)

The summary isn't particularly ambiguous, the part "it has now been revealed that they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services) â" which happens to be illegal in the Netherlands." is quite clear and it takes quite a lot of squinting to think the 'illegal' is somehow referring further back into the sentence.

And then there is the part where your assumed illegality of not using text messages somehow automatically justified the deep packet inspection.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119794)

Actually, rereading it ... it *is* ambiguous. What "happens to be illegal"? DPI or WhatsApp? In fact, assuming, from that sentance, that DPI is the illegal activity would likely be the wrong conclusion. Most geeks just assumed DPI was the subject illegal activity because we are trained to thikn that way. It would have been more clear had the sentance read:

"it has now been revealed that they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI), which happens to be illegal in the Netherlands, to monitor customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services)"

or the more direct

"it has now been revealed that they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services). DPI happens to be illegal in the Netherlands."

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119844)

"they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services)" is a noun phrase. It isn't ambiguous.

The complexity of the surrounding sentence certainly invites poor reading.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119868)

"it has now been revealed that they have apparently employed deep packet inspection (DPI) to monitor ( customers' use of WhatsApp (and also VoIP services) â" which happens to be illegal in the Netherlands )."

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119748)

Not to mention failing to adhere to the EULA is NOT ILLEGAL!!! It is a breach of contract, but it is not illegal. If it were illegal then it wouldn't need to be in the EULA since .. .well ... its already illegal.

Yes I'm being trite ... but in this war of words it is important that we don't let the various MAFIAA's (I consider an ISP like this part of the same group), twist the narrative so that people think using a new technlogy that they *don't like* is the same as doing something illegal.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119442)

Read the Fine Summary. It is illegal in the Netherlands.

And I take issue with your idea that banning DPI for the purposes of violating Net Neutrality is bad for consumers. I think it's great for consumers, as it greatly increases competition for those services. Without it, the ISP knows that you can only really use their SMS and VoIP solutions, so there's no incentive to price them competitively or to keep innovating them.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119458)

...but in this case KPN is actually fully authorized to do that (unless DPI is illegal in the Netherlands). After all, the customers who are hit with the extra costs are actually doing something illegal, and they could just as well be brought to court or otherwise penalized in some much worse way.

Ummm ... what exactly are the people doing that is 'illegal'??

Reading the linked articles, it would seem that people are using their data plan to provide an IM alternative to SMS, as well as to provide VoIP ... are either of these things illegal? Or just not making profit for the company? (Boo hoo, you used our network bandwidth we sold to you for something we'd normally charge you for ... so we're going to charge you anyway.)

If you're selling me access to the internet, you don't get to decide which sites I visit. You certainly (so far) don't get to decide to charge me $5/month for Slashdot or Google.

What, exactly are the users doing that is 'illegal' ... I'm not getting that from any of the articles. The only thing that I see that is illegal is that it might be a violation of Dutch law for KPN to use DPI ... which is precisely what the articles say.

It isn't the customers of KPN who are breaking the law.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (-1, Troll)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119546)

Commenting before you RTFA should be illegal. Also, writing ambiguous summaries should be illegal. As I responded to someone else I thought it had been made illegal to use your data plan in ways that hinder the carrier from making money. Cynical as I am, it wouldn't surprise me if it was made illegal soon as it's already in most EULAs (where I live anyway).

All together now . . . (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121652)

Commenting before you RTFA should be illegal.

You must be new here, and now just because you have a seven-digit ID.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119520)

It's a badly phrased summary - it makes is ambiguous about what is illegal here.

Using text messaging apps and VoIP isn't illegal in the Netherlands, by the way. It's the Deep Packet Inspection that's illegal, in the opinion of a lobbyist quoted in one of the linked stories.

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119590)

That's like saying since I use Google Talk to send messages to my friends instead of texting, I should be charged more. Bullshit. I'm paying for the data plan, I should be able to send messages over it as I see fit. That's the whole point of HAVING a data plan. What if the next step is to charge you for every facebook update/message because it's causing people to text less? Obviously, (at least in the US) the insane fees the carriers charge for texting is no longer as viable as what they use to be able to pull off, and people have wised up.

It's kind of like in Canada... CD sales were dropping, so the recording industry claims it's because of the sale of CD-R's. To make up for the "loss" of a dying sales method, they convince the government to impose a tax on every blank CD sold, no matter what was actually being burned onto the disc (you pay if you copy a CD, you pay if you're using it for data back-up, etc).

It's them being greedy, point blank. Just as if my carrier were to decide to not only use my minutes when I call/receive a call using Google Voice, but to ALSO charge me per minute for the duration I'm using the Google Voice service. In a way, it's kind of like double charging (as in you paid for the data plan, why should sending a message over that cost *anything* extra vs loading a web page, watching a youtube video, etc, etc)

Re:I love hating as much as the next guy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119654)

You got it wrong - DPI is illegal, using the text message replacement is perfectly legal. So KPN is breaking the law to charge more (which is legal, unless net neutrality were signed into law) to people who obey the law, but circumvent the regular text-messaging service.

Why was text message use dropping? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119382)

I don't know how expensive a text is in the Netherlands, but if it's anything like in America I can't blame them for wanting to text less. Or was it that this alternative offered better features? Either way, the correct response from the provider is to respond to demands of the customers; if demand goes down, price should reflect that.

Re:Why was text message use dropping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119496)

Traditional texting was one of the major income sources for KPN, and they lost a lot of it precisely because it was so expensive while there was a practically free alternative available - WhatsApp. So they decided to just charge people that wanted to use Whatsapp :s I'm not even an KPN customer and yet I'm in 100% nerdrage mode.

Ik know there are valid reasons for not requiring absolute net-neutrality, but sheesh, the other side of the coin is pretty fucking nasty. Imagine this happening with large US ISPs, if WhatsApp had actually invested lots of money and work in their service (well, I guess they have done just that), it would now be ruined.

Re:Why was text message use dropping? (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123796)

Yes, charging 100 or a thousand times over cost for data that you have to send and receive anyways is a ripoff, plain and simple.Of course you're going to get undercut by the competition.

Re:Why was text message use dropping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119962)

It used to be somewhere around 25 cents in guilders. which is about 11 cents euro. this is 13 year back.

I just checked t-mobile's website and the cheapest plan is 20ct euro per sms, the most expensive is 10ct.
for an additional 2,5e you can lower that amount by 50%, so texts are 10..5 cents.

https://www.t-mobile.nl/persoonlijk/media/pdf/productinformatie/prijslijst_flex_1112010.pdf

Re:Why was text message use dropping? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120506)

text messages originated as a ridiculously good deal on the operators on year zero, so they're clinging on to it. so much cash for so few bits.

ridiculous though how they didn't think that doing _this_ was idiotic. how the fuck would they explain to anyone how they added a charge to their bill without admitting to having sniffed their traffic? they should fire the bozos responsible and use the money to buy faster lines to their cells and expand their cell density - because that's the only way they can compete(and while at it, negotiate the carrier services they're buying to keep the sms center running, it seems).

Dutch government mandates DPI from all ISPs (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119418)

All Dutch (and European?) ISPs are required by law to retain e-mail headers and URLs accessed for a number of years (anti-terrorism, anti-pedophiles, the usual reasons), which I think is only possible with DPI, so I suppose all Dutch ISPs are doing DPI, in a far more intrusive way than KPN and Vodafone are using it for their own interests. I'm sad that it is only now that people are suddenly outraged, but I guess its better than nothing at all. I'm far more concerned about KPN trying to make a profit from other people's services (WhatsApp) just because people are realizing traditional text-messaging sucks balls.

Re:Dutch government mandates DPI from all ISPs (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119548)

The URLs are possible to retain if you run a transparent proxy (which most ISPs seem to do these days). The email headers, that probably refers to headers on mails transmitted via their SMTP relays. Neither of these requires DPI, and it would be a more expensive way of acquiring this data.

Re:Dutch government mandates DPI from all ISPs (1)

Betaemacs (1737586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121266)

There is a huge difference between retaining headers and urls which simply requires storing a copy and mining the traffic for data. While both are pretty stupid, they are not the same.

Re:Dutch government mandates DPI from all ISPs (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122648)

The same law exists in Germany, although it's currently suspended. I doubt they're required to retain email headers from mail servers other than their own. I assume most people use SSL one way or another when talking to their mail provider, DPI won't do jack squat in that case. As for storing URLs, maybe it's enough to store IP addresses? You could do that without DPI.

Re:Dutch government mandates DPI from all ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36154882)

thanks for this well referenced piece of information.
You fucking idiot.

Finally Proper coverage (3)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119544)

As one of the sources for this is the Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] maybe net neutrality issues are finally getting proper coverage, instead of the Rush Limbaugh style of this is the "fairness doctrine" coverage it has gotten in the past.

Re:Finally Proper coverage (1)

vm146j2 (233075) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119740)

Yeah, or maybe baby Murdoch is worried that his stuff is next. Have to buy some service providers then.

Re:Finally Proper coverage (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120348)

Possibly. I forgot that he bought WSJ.

Internet Protocl over Transmission Control Protocl (1)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119768)

What?

Illegal? Maybe not. But it's not just KPN... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119922)

Actually, all three network providers (KPN, Vodafone NL, T-Mobile NL) in the Netherlands have admitted to using DPI. Since IAMNAL I am not sure if this is actually illegal. On another site, someone pointed out that there actually is a provision in the law that a measure like this may be legal if used to keep the network running properly. How far that provision can be stretched is another matter. As to what they actually use the data for and how they handle the data is an interesting matter as well. KPN apparently shared the data with an outside party, which may be a violation even if they can show that it is necessary for keeping the network running smoothly. If they see internet use multiply rapidly, of course they want to know why that is, as there is a maximum capacity and you can't keep adding sites or transmitters/receivers forever, not without hiking prices. So they might be able to argue that they need that information in order for them to deal with the increase in the best possible way. For those living abroad: there really is no alternative, there are no other network providers, only service providers using these three networks. So unless you are willing to shell out for a satellite phone, you're stuck with these three.

Not just KPN (1)

ecotax (303198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120538)

On the 20:00 TV news, they just announced that Vodafone does the same.
This is getting a lot of media coverage here.

Re:Not just KPN (1)

geobaker (198332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121278)

Is it a sad commentary on the US that the general press in NL carry this as a hot/lead story, while over here it would be blip on the general press radar? Perhaps that's my age showing that I 'remember when...' this would have been a big deal in general in the US; now I think it would only be in certain interested groups.

(and I'm with MarkvW on DPI. damn i'm old... :)

Re:Not just KPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36122094)

Perhaps this is because they're actually breaking both Dutch and European law by reading the application layer of the packet. And because actual journalists (not the 'pundit' or press-release repeater types) can get very itchy when it comes to privacy issues which threaten their line of work.

No surprise (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36121472)

KPN is a typical old-school telecom monopolist that, over the last two decades, has had to watch its market share and profits shrink. A few years ago their DSL network suffered a terrible outage that lasted for several weeks. The problem was their old ATM network equipment that just couldn't cope with the scale at which it was being used. Back in the end of the 90s, they had been warned by network experts that ATM was would eventually do this to them, but they didn't care. It was more important that it was cheap, and, and one KPN exec is rumored to have put it, "We zijn toch dominant" (We're dominant anyway). Since that's been their attitude towards consumers for, like, forever, so it doesn't surprise me that that they're also busy blazing new trails with DPI. Of course they want to use it to protect their investments, or else why tell investors about it?

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36121746)

KPN has the largest fiber network in the Netherlands they also have an extensive European fiber network they bought from KPN/QWEST.
DSL speed is also good, the only limiting factor is distance to the DSLAM from your home.
Technically most KPN services are top notch, the management team however is a greedy bunch of grumpy old men, they only care for the value of there shares and stock options. KPN has not many growth opportunities in The Netherlands and as a result of that they have a share buyback program almost every year.
They also pay almost 6% dividend.

Re:No surprise (1)

Betaemacs (1737586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123496)

The question is do they pay well?

Citation Needed on DPI (1)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 3 years ago | (#36122816)

Can anybody please provide a source for the claim that DPI is illegal? Not saying I don't believe it, I just haven't been able to find a source.

I don't know about KPN's contract terms (never dealt with them), but does it state anything about VoIP? Like I said I am not familiar with KPN but I did use mobile data with Vodafone Netherlands and they clearly stated you were not allowed to tether or do VoIP. I occasionally did both, and worked flawlessly - what they did once do, and that was evil, was to eat my prepaid credit after I'd gone over some download limit - a totally arbitrary amount, not specified in the terms (they are more clear now). I'm all for Net Neutrality but it should be enforced by legislation so that kind of stuff can't make it to the contracts.

Service-Aware Charging and Control (SACC) (1)

dj-nix (101489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36138136)

This is most Likely done with SACC. It's a built in function of the GGSN...

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