How to track net neutrality with N00ter

Network security expert Dan Kaminsky has debuted a software tool designed to monitor net neutrality and uncover ISPs filtering traffic.

According to, Kaminsky gave word of his project at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.


“N00ter” is coded to catch subtle changes in traffic speed which can be hard to for average users to detect. However, if an ISP makes a dirty deal with one site or service to slow the traffic of a competitor on purpose, n00ter will sniff out that bias.

The tool is slated to be released in a few weeks, and Kaminsky is hopeful it will persuade ISPs to refrain from biasing and throttling traffic altogether.


“I’m not out to bust anybody. At this point I’m simply putting out the word that you should not be doing anything you do not want on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning,” Kaminsky said.

N00ter’s release comes during a time when governments around the world are debating how to handle network neutrality.


Supporters feel that legislation is the best way to stop service providers from slowing down certain kinds of traffic to serve their financial interests. The opponents of this type of thought feel that it would basically serve as a way to give government ultimate power over the telecommunications industry.


Kaminsky thinks that the neutrality issue is not a political one; he feels it’s an engineering issue and he argues that lawmakers need to know what ISPs are doing so that they can make an informed decision on the matter.


“If bad things are going to happen, let them happen visibly and transparently. I am just here to provide the data,” said Kaminsky.


For now we’ll have to wait until n00ter is released. On paper it could create some interesting scenarios with ISPs in the U.S. The fact that it is free will likely rub industry giants the wrong way.