Search outfit Google has written a one million dollar cheque to Georgia Tech boffins to develop tools to detect internet throttling and government censorship.
According to Ars Technica the project will take two years and Georgia Tech could get a $500,000 extension. However, the idea is at the end of it Google will get a suite of Web-based, internet-scale measurement tools that any user around the world could access for free.
What it will mean is that users can work out if ISPs are providing the service customers are paying for, and whether the data they send and receive over their network connections is being tampered with by governments and/or ISPs.
Wenke Lee, a computer science professor who is involved with the project, said that it would attempt to build similar tools for smartphone and tablet owners as well.
Such tools would have been useful in Tunisia, Egypt and China, which like to monitor its special citizens. However they could also cause a stir in the United States and Blighty where telcos sell bandwidth on the basis of one speed and then throttle it.
Google has been an advocate of net neutrality, partly because it will kill the internet, but mostly because the first site to be charged in a two tiered web world will be Google.
But we are surprised that Google wants the tools for the mobile world. After all it has gone on record as saying that a two tiered mobile internet is OK. You don’t need tools in Blighty. The telcos have said they are throttling you and don’t give a monkey’s what Google or the BBC has to say about it.