POST TIME: 29 March, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 29 March, 2017 01:39:43 AM
monitoring terror networks
Govt plans installation of DPI devices

Govt plans installation 
of DPI devices

To monitor terror networks in the social media without blocking them and to thwart the spread of pornographic contents, the government is planning to instal state-of-the-art monitoring and inspection devices called Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). These devices are used by security agencies of the USA and China to monitor activities on the Internet. At its 22nd meeting of 2016-17, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved a project, titled "Cyber Threat Detection and Response", to bring those machines.
Under the Tk. 149.52-crore project, a total of 35 DPI machines will be installed in the offices of 32 International Internet Getaway (IIG) operators and in three offices of the National Internet Exchange (NIX).
Four of these machines will be of high data processing capacity, 14 of medium data processing capacity and 17 of low data processing capacity.
A senior official of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MoPT) said the DPI is the most modern device to monitor any content on the Internet. The government will be able to monitor and analyse any online content
without blocking any data traffic, he added.
After the devices are installed at the offices of the IIG operators and NIX offices, suspicious data can be monitored, just like the way suspicious voice calls are tracked by telecom operators, the official noted. Explaining the functioning of the DPI machines, cyber security expert Hasib Muammar Rashid said: “DPI-based firewalls briefly delay or buffer packets to check the traffic stream as it passes through. All the data on the Internet are sent through small packets. Every packet has address like the way real mail has an address for the destination. Just think that you’ve instructed your mailman to check the envelope’s content before delivering it to the desired destination. This is what the DPI does to check suspicious internet traffic.”
Hasib also said the process of checking the content is not an easy task, as it is protected by several protocols. There are numerous security systems available to break those protocols to see the data content. The difference between the DPI and other systems is that most other systems tend to collect packet data passively, as it streams through a network chokepoint, and then send instructions to the firewall and other security appliances when they find something amiss.
But the advantage of the DPI systems is that data packets can be held in buffer, thus allowing them to handle the packets themselves before they are sent on their way—intercepting their content and repackaging it.
“Suppose you’d like to find out whether the data contains any message linked to terrorism. Then you will prepare the DPI machine with keywords that are usually used by terrorists. The DPI will then intercept those data packets that have those words and break the protocol to open the content,” explained Hasib.
The National Security Agency (NSA) of the USA has been using the DPI technology for Internet traffic surveillance, sorting and forwarding more intelligence. The Chinese government also uses the DPI to monitor and censor network traffic and content that it claims are harmful for Chinese citizens or state interests. These materials include pornography, information on religion and political dissent.