The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has come up with some software to help us keep an eye on our ISPs and find out whether or not they’re ‘traffic shaping’ or ‘bandwidth throttling’ what goes into and out of our computers – a practice that some ISPs have begun doing to try and kerb all of that nasty BitTorrenting that’s clogging up the internet.
Net neutrality is an increasingly big issue as some of the biggest internet providers have adopted traffic shaping practices. Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett rather elloquently called net neutrality “a load of b****cks“, and as of April were in talks with content providers to make their content go faster. Obviously this has been opposed by everyone from the content providers like the BBC (they don’t want to pay more to make the iPlayer work at a tolerable speed), and rights groups like the EFF, as it could be seen to be damaging the internet’s great “democratic” credentials that media analysts like to mention all the time.
The EFF has called their software ‘Switzerland’ after the country’s famous neutrality, and not because the EFF is funded by Nazi gold (it isn’t). The software itself is only in its alpha testing phase, but if you’re into command line software written in Python, you can test your own connection by getting the software here.