Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Word of the day

Thank you to Gary for providing the term traffic shaping. This is now applied to the many ways in which ISPs, telecommunications carriers and corporate IT departments might manage Internet traffic - by filtering out things they don't want.

In fact, traffic shaping is a term used for many years to refer to management of internet traffic to optimise performance. It has recently been extended to refer to eliminating low priority bandwidtgh-heavy uses of a connection, such as media, non-work related sites, file sharing downloads and the like. While the original term related to management of bandwidth, people are increasingly demand that internet traffic be managed on other grounds too.

For example, the Sydney Morning Herald has a piece on The Rudd government contemplating a three strikes policy. ISPs would monitor access by their users to pirated music, TV shows and movies; on the third offence, they would cancel the offender's internet access. Another projected government policy aimed at traffic shaping was the policy announced by Senator Conroy before the election for mandatory filtering of Internet content to remove illegal and inappropriate material such as pornography.

If you don't like something, see if the government can make ISPs eliminate it.

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