According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran and China are likely using Deep Packet Inspection technology to monitor and control the Internet.
This spring, a Free Press.org report, Deep Packet Inspection: The End of the Internet as We Know It?, argued that DPI technology poses a major threat to the open Internet, giving network providers unprecedented power over Internet users. The use of DPI by U.S. companies like Comcast and Cox has already sparked widespread concern about abuses of net neutrality and online privacy.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Iranian government appears to be using this same technology "to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes." The Chinese government is believed to be using DPI to implement its "Great Firewall," "widely considered the most advanced and extensive censoring in the world" -- an "arrangement that depends on the cooperation of all the service providers."
In a May speech, President Obama said, "Our pursuit of cyber security will not -- I repeat, will not include -- monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic. We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans. Indeed, I remain firmly committed to Net Neutrality so we can keep the Internet as it should be -- open and free."
"DPI technology is America's sleeping giant," says Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press and a previous guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com
"It has been widely deployed by Internet service providers across the country, and could be secretly put to use without our knowledge or consent."
Silver is concerned that the same technology that's being used to block free speech in Iran and China could be employed in the United States.