I've previously made fun of the EFF's overly complicated test your ISP project because it asked users amongst other things to "disable TCP segmentation offloading" in order to test whether their ISP is messing with their torrents.

Well, it looks like customer-driven counter intelligence just got a little easier. The EFF released a new tool called Switzerland today that uses a semi-dezentralized approach to test for any type of protocol interference. The tool still requires quite a bit of technical knowledge, and it isn't exactly convenient either.

Two users have to coordinate a test to get any results, and the EFF is suggesting to use a Wiki to find volunteers. You should also know how to start a Python script, which of course requires Python to be installed on your machine. And you have to watch out for your router, possible disabling any firewall and and using a wired connection to rule out any false positives.

These are all hurdles that will stop many from using Switzerland, and there's definitely room to improve. Then again, there are of course already easier tools that do basic tests, like the web-based Glasnost applet, but these can only do so much. Glasnost for example can only test for dropped packets, and it currently only tests BitTorrent file transfers. Switzerland on the other hand has a much broader approach. From the EFF's website:

"Switzerland is designed to detect the modification or injection of packets of data traveling over IP networks, including those introduced by anti-P2P tools from Sandvine (widely believed to be used by Comcast to interfere with BitTorrent uploads) and AudibleMagic, advertising injection systems like FairEagle, censorship systems like the Great Firewall of China, and other systems that we don't know about yet."

It's definitely good to have both easy to use and comprehensive tools available, and it will be interesting to see what the findings of Switzerland users will be.

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