We reported last week that there were fears of the ITU heading off-the-rails as the UN branch entered into closed door talks, with rumours that the group would propose to manage data flow and security for the world-wide web.
The first confirmation of fears to emerge from talks has been the adaptation of the 'Requirements for Deep Packet Inspection in Next Generation Networks' standard, 'Y.2770'. This standard provides a means for ISPs and governments to inspect the actual content of user traffic and not just packet headers for the purposes of data routing.
ITU - The new global threat?
By standardising DPI, the ITU has made it easier for the mass-production of cost-effective packet inspecting hardware and its integration into a network. The standard even includes provision for bypassing encryption, by allowing the capture of exchanged keys. Unlike other web standards authorities, the ITU has made no attempt to analyse the impact of DPI misuse or to offers provisions for guaranteeing user data privacy.
Though standard policy for the ITU, the draft of the DPI document was not released into the public domain, allowing no chance for feedback from many ISPs, large web firms or rights groups.
Keep an eye out for the published standard on the ITU homepage, when it ultimately emerges in the public domain.