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NGOs, Academics Warn Against EU’s Deep Packet Inspection Problem, at Least 186 ISPs Breaking Rules

European Digital Rights organization (EDRi) along with 45 NGOs, academics and companies from 15 countries sent an open letter to European policymakers and regulators on Wednesday warned against the widespread use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology by Internet service providers in the EU. Despite net neutrality regulation in effect, the EU ISPs are using DPI technology to examine the content of users' communication for traffic management and differentiated pricing of specific applications or services.

DPI deployment in large scale: "[W]ith the proliferation of zero-rating in all but two European countries, the industry has started to deploy DPI equipment on a large scale in order to charge certain data packages differently or to throttle services and cram more internet subscribers in a network already running over capacity." (EDRi)

Watering down the rules: "Europe's current net neutrality rules indeed ban DPI technology that examines specific user information for the purpose of treating traffic differently," says Jan Penfrat, EDRi's Senior Policy Advisor. A mapping of zero-rating offers in Europe conducted by EDRi member Epicenter.works has identified 186 telecom services potentially using of DPI technology. "Most regulators have so far turned a blind eye on these net neutrality violations. Instead of fulfilling their enforcement duties, they seem to now aim at watering down the rules that prohibit DPI."

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