Google prepping broadband-monitoring tools

Google has announced that Google engineers have been working on tools to help identify if you are the victim of ISP throttling. With many ISP's now "shaping" the networks, many users are curious whether their own ISP is doing this to them.

"We're trying to develop tools, software tools...that allow people to detect what's happening with their broadband connections, so they can let (ISPs) know that they're not happy with what they're getting--that they think certain services are being tampered with," Google Senior Policy Director Richard Whitt said Friday morning during a panel discussion at the Innovation '08 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. "If the broadband providers aren't going to tell you exactly what's happening on their networks, we want to give users the power to find out for themselves."

Whitt would not say when the tools will be available or how they would work, but did indicate that Google engineers had been working on them for a while.

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25 Comments

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go google. google are whores with our privacy, I'm sure theres other services we use every day on the computer that lurk into our privacy, at least google admits it.

you will connect to a specific webpage and google will say

"you isp suck!, please change your isp for a better one".

(Doli said @ #10)
Do ISPs put some sort of "ISP throttling" information in the contract that the user signs?

some do, some don't.

when i signed up with our ISP (CableOne) 4 years ago, there was nothing in it that said anything about bandwidth throttling, bandwidth shaping, or anything.
about 2 days after i joined them i noticed that if i downloaded or uploaded too much (~500mb/~200mb (down/up)) within 2 hours i would get throttled back... Download and Upload... so Download would go from ~280Kbps to ~80Kbps.. and Upload would go from ~25Kbps to 5Kbps... this would last for about an hour and would go back to normal.

For the past 4 years i've looked at every bill for new changes, and about October i noticed the cap wasn't there anymore... instead they changed it to... (Down)1,347 MB - (Upload) 131 MB / 12 noon - midnight / capped until Midnight.
http://www.cableone.net/internet/limits.htm

so basically, if i got on at 12:01(Noon) and downloaded 1.3gigs, i'd be capped for the rest of the day (until midnight).

nowhere was there ever a warning or notice of change to the bandwidth caps.

i've even called them up and acted stupid just to see how many different lies they would say.. just disgusting... but i stay with them because it's the only cable connection in this area, and everything else is DSL or Dialup.

the funniest response i ever got has to be along the lines of "Sorry Sir, we can't disclose information about our bandwidth limitations because it's against company policy" (ROFL)

/rant and /rambling

Bravo, Google!

It's a tool that can help prove that you might not be getting what you pay for. In my case, I never signed nor agreed to not being able to use my connection to its potential when and how I chose. One time I used it to dnld a linux distro using a bitorrent link, and they shut my connection off - no warning, and just waited for me to call in complainig that I didnt have a connection. What kind of cheap crap is that? I pay almost $90.00 a month for 30mb down & 1 1/2mb upload, shouldnt I be able to use what I pay for?

Great, I know my ISP throttles my connection, what good is this tool? Useless...

People see Microsoft as the "Big evil company." I fear Google more than I have ever feared Microsoft.

(tsupersonic said @ #7)
Great, I know my ISP throttles my connection, what good is this tool? Useless...

People see Microsoft as the "Big evil company." I fear Google more than I have ever feared Microsoft.

Right now Google doesn't have to worry about it, but in the future they might. I love google I hope they take on Apple and kick their rear ends and shut the apple people up, but that won't happen.

There's no reason to fear Google unless you utilize their services, thus voluntarily giving up any expectation of privacy. Certainly they have earned the "evil" badge much more than Microsoft ever did. At least Microsoft never went around joking, "do no evil, do no evil!" while reading Hotmail messages to, er, "improve" their customer's online "experience".

(tsupersonic said @ #1)
Great, I know my ISP throttles my connection, what good is this tool? Useless...

People see Microsoft as the "Big evil company." I fear Google more than I have ever feared Microsoft.

I'm sorry, but your post is nothing more than an attempt to spit on Google. Useless.

If you know your ISP throttles your connection, then it obviously isn't for you. Just because you have no use for the software doesn't make it useless.

Lastly, Google would need incredible manpower to read all the emails being sent back in forth. Processing things said in the email to deliver ads targeted at your interests is very different and better in my opinion. I mean, generally ads are only targeted at what the website is based on, or what kind of people go to the website. Porn sites have porn ads, tech sites with tech related stuff, game sites advertising games, etc. No different than Cartoon Network commercials showing kids toys. Targeted ads related to your interests. Google is just a service I use for email. I also use it for finding things, and if they want to attempt to show me ads related to my interests, fine. Not going to click them anyhow. I'm not losing anything by them knowing what I like. Many times, it doesn't even work right anyhow.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for our rights and everything. I just don't find any wrong in what Google does. They're just interested in making money from advertising, not whether or not I cheated on my girlfriend, smoked pot yesterday, or am running an illegal copy of [product]. (none of that true, but still)

But hey, if you want to use Google's services and complain, go ahead. People do it with Microsoft, Apple, and pretty much every company for that matter. People are impossible to please anyhow. They want great free services, but don't want it on the company's terms.

(Dakkaroth said @ #7.4)

I'm sorry, but your post is nothing more than an attempt to spit on Google. Useless.

If you know your ISP throttles your connection, then it obviously isn't for you. Just because you have no use for the software doesn't make it useless.

and who must use this service?.

people that use p2p or any stream, they empirically can test if their connection is being throttling or not.
people that don't use p2p or any stream, so they don't care about throttling.

And yet, ISP can spoof and fake the results, for example online bandwidth meter service.

IMHO google is lacking of good ideas.

I fully expect tinfoil-hat-types to think that this is google attempting to find ways to monitor their bandwidth for their own information collecting schemes. :nuts:

However, I personally applaud Google in this effort.
Content providers and bandwidth providers are in pretty much a total war. Especially if PHARM-type schemes start replacing google ads on webpages.

This is just Google striking back.

(shakey_snake said @ #2)
I fully expect tinfoil-hat-types to think that this is google attempting to find ways to monitor their bandwidth for their own information collecting schemes. :nuts:

However, I personally applaud Google in this effort.
Content providers and bandwidth providers are in pretty much a total war. Especially if PHARM-type schemes start replacing google ads on webpages.

This is just Google striking back.

But this is exactly what it is!

I do not believe google's statement , this is just what people want to hear and allows google to collect even more data.