Wednesday, 30 September 2009, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Dr Richard Clayton, University of Cambridge

Recent technical advances are making it practical to inspect Internet traffic using “deep packet inspection” (DPI) equipment. The technology give the ISPs the ability to “traffic shape” (a euphemism for “slow to a crawl”) your bulk file-sharing traffic. It allows advertising companies to peek at the websites you’re visiting to profile your behaviour, and thereby serve up more targeted adverts. And it allows the Government to build up databases of “communications data”, where you go, how often, who’s there at the same time, and what name you’re using. All of these systems seem to make sense to the people who benefit, but if they were properly understood, are they what most people actually want?

Dr Richard Clayton has a background in the ISP industry, but is now a security researcher in the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. His research interests are Internet wickedness, from spam to phishing and beyond. He’s also been an outspoken critic of DPI-based behavioural advertising systems, and of the Government’s plans to deploy DPI in their Interception Modernisation Programme.

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Last updated 12th November, 2023 at 11:47am