Putting Your (Neutral?) Net to the Test

Here is an interesting approach to Net Neutrality. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed a tool aptly called “Switzerland” (open source, too!) that can test a few areas in your network. Have a look at this forwarded email message below.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Frieda Werden

Is your ISP interfering with your BitTorrent connections? Cutting off your VOIP calls? Undermining the principles of network neutrality? In order to answer those questions, concerned Internet users need tools to test their Internet connections and gather evidence about ISP interference practices. After all, if it weren’t for the testing efforts of Rob Topolski, the Associated Press, and EFF, Comcast would still be stone-walling about their now-infamous BitTorrent blocking efforts.

Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.

www.eff.org/testyourisp/switzerland

Before you run it, be sure to check out the notes about privacy, security, and firewalls. Switzerland is currently in alpha release as a command line tool. In other words, right now it is aimed at relatively sophisticated users. However, because it’s an open source effort, we anticipate making it easier to use over time (please please please let us know by email, by IRC, or by filing bugs if you’re running the client but it isn’t working for you — we’ve seen some clients reconnecting in cycles that makes us think there’s a bug we should fix!).

(Links updated November 2013)

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