Feeds

Canucks' ISPs routing data through snoop heaven USA

Does your ISP use a 'Boomerang route' to fling data into the NSA's lap?

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A University of Toronto-led transparency project has criticised Canada's ISPs for unnecessarily routing user traffic via the US, even when both the origin and destination of the traffic is within Canada.

In a study that mirrors, in part, European concerns about why traffic should traverse the US when it doesn't need to, the Canadian transparency study blames an unwillingness to peer for sending traffic into the reach of the NSA.

The university's Andrew Clement and Jonathan Obar have put together the report along with an interactive map, in which they rate Canadian ISPs on various transparency characteristics. The ratings, the report says, are based on how easily users can find information including an ISP's compliance with data privacy legislation, how they report data access requests, how well they define personal information, information about where user data is stored.

Against the ten criteria used in the assessment, nobody scored highly: the best was Teksavvy, scoring just 3.5 stars out of a possible ten, followed by Primus on three stars.

None of the carriers tested provide transparency reporting, and the researchers say none of the 20 carriers they examined are in full compliance with Canada's PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) privacy law.

About routing, the report states: “Fewer than half (8/20) of the ISP privacy policies refer to the location and jurisdiction for the information they store. Only one (Hurricane) gives an indication of where it routes customer data and none make explicit that they may route data via the US where it is subject to NSA surveillance”.

“Boomerang” routing – where data leaves Canada, traverses US networks (who might choose to ignore PIPEDA) and returns to Canada – accounts for as much as 25 per cent of traffic, the report states. The report claims that traffic traversing the US is “almost certainly subject to NSA surveillance”.

The key reason, of course, is peering, a discussion that will resonate with smaller ISPs around the world. If an ISP is unable to peer its traffic within Canada's TorIX (Toronto Internet Exchange) or OttIX (Ottowa), it may need to send data upstream through its transit provider to reach its destination.

The project's maps can be viewed here. The full 61-page PDF report is here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.