Blog: EFF Helps Spot ISP Spies

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a new advanced tool to help users test their Internet connection for bandwidth interference from their ISP.

Called 'Switzerland,' the open source, command line tool was created in response to the FCC's landmark decision last week to fine Comcast for restricting P2P traffic on its broadband network.

Part of the EFF's Test Your ISP project, Switzerland can detect anti-P2P tools like Sandvine and Audible Magic, and is able to keep copies of any modified data that your ISP injects into your file transfer. This is significant as anti-P2P software typically modifies data being transferred which then tricks your computer into terminating the connection.

The EFF's Switzerland is a successor to pcapdiff and, according to the EFF, automates a lot of the procedures that pcapdiff required users to do manually. Switzerland is currently recommended for operation by advanced users, but the EFF anticipates that as an open source tool, Switzerland will develop into a consumer ready application in the future.

That doesn't mean you have can't find out what's going on with your network connection right now, though. PC World has looked at several tools that are much easier to use. Glasnost, for example, is a Web-based tool that can run an advanced seven-minute test or a shorter four -minute one. I ran Glasnost this morning and it required only the push of a button found at the bottom of the page, and according to the program my Comcast connection ran P2P traffic just fine.

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