The Internet's Not a Big Truck: Toward Quantifying Network Neutrality

Robert Beverly, Steven Bauer and Arthur Berger
Proceedings of the 8th Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM 2007),
pp. 135-144, Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium, April 2007

We present a novel measurement-based effort to quantify the prevalence of Internet ``port blocking.'' Port blocking is a form of policy control that relies on the coupling between applications and their assigned transport port. Networks block traffic on specific ports, and the coincident applications, for technical, economic or regulatory reasons. Quantifying port blocking is technically interesting and highly relevant to current \emph{network neutrality} debates. Our scheme induces a large number of widely distributed hosts into sending packets to an IP address and port of our choice. By intelligently selecting these ``referrals,'' our infrastructure enables us to construct a per-BGP prefix map of the extent of discriminatory blocking, with emphasis on contentious ports, i.e. VPNs, email, file sharing, etc. Our results represent some of the first measurements of network neutrality and aversion.

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[Presentation Slides(132KB)]
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