An illustration of the Aho-Corasick algorithm, one of the methods used by DPI engines for pattern matching. From Network Security: Know it All (Elsevier, 2008)

Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a network surveillance technology that enables operators to scan Internet traffic in real time and make automated decisions about what to do with it. This research project investigates whether deep packet inspection is changing the way the Internet is governed. Download an overview of this research project.

In this project, we analyze DPI deployments that generated political, legal and regulatory conflicts. We explore how its capabilities led to strategic interactions among network operators pursuing their business interests, government agencies seeking control, activists fighting for privacy or net neutrality, politicians and regulators responding to publicity, legislators and courts resolving disputes.

Drawing on theories from science, technology and society studies (STS), Internet governance studies and political science, we investigate how Internet governance is evolving in response to new network surveillance and management capabilities.

The project is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, SBER Division, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Award SES-1026916, Dr. Milton L. Mueller, Principal Investigator