Is your ISP interfering with your Internet?

Canadian Cable Internet provider Rogers has started testing a system that will allow them to insert messages to their customers about billing and account status. While this may seem to be a fairly innocuous activity, it uses technology that Net Neutrality advocates find troubling. The concern is with how far, and for what purpose, an ISP might use a technology that allows adding or removing content from the Internet.

With the right software, an ISP could use “Deep Packet Inspection” to insert favorable links into your search results, gather data on your browsing habits, and sell advertising space on the Web pages you view. Or, for that matter, block or remove data or sites that the ISP doesn’t want you to see, or would like you to pay a premium for.

It’s easy to think that something like this could never happen in a country that so strongly values freedom. But, when you’re talking profit, some companies will try almost anything.