Kontaktketten klarstellen

“Contact chaining analysis,” what the NSA did with the networks of relationships disclosed by the bulk Internet metadata it collected from ~2001 to ~2011, according to a draft of a 2009 report by the NSA’s inspector general.

In case you were wondering, the IG report defined contact chaining as

“the process of building a network graph that models the communication (e-mail, telephony, etc.) patterns of targeted entities (people, organizations, etc.) and their associates from the communications sent or received by the targets.”

“Additional chaining can be performed on the associates’ contacts to determine patterns in the way a network of targets may communicate. Additional degrees of separation from the initial target are referred to as ‘hops.’ For example a direct contact is one hop away from the target. A contact of the direct contact would be described as being 2 hops away from the target. The resulting contact-graph is subsequently analyzed for intelligence and to develop potential investigative leads.”

The inspector general’s report said internet metadata was one of four types of domestic and international data vacuumed up by the NSA between ~2001 and ~2011. With occasional stops and/or restarts of one or the other category due to technical problems or legal concerns on the part of e.g. the FISA court, the NSA acquired: internet metadata, telephone metadata, internet content and telephone content.

(Con TALKED kett en   KLAH shtell en.)

Lobbyplag

Website that says they use plagiarism software to compare text in politicians’ amendments and lobbyists’ proposals to find out if the amendments contain language copied from companies and industry groups. They’ve published a list of similar texts with politicians’ names and companies’ names. By necessity, the website is highly multilingual.

Lobbyplag.eu says its creation was motivated by the debate around EU data protection reform (with ~4000 amendments apparently inspired by lobbyists from every side of the issues and all corners of the world so far). Lobbyplag is also on Twitter.

 

 

EU-Datenschutzreform

“EU data protection reform” of the EU’s current data protection rules which were passed in 1995.

EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship Viviane Reding said she’s been fighting for this reform for several years now. A proposal she submitted 18 months ago has been languishing, even though the EU’s highly controversial “Vorratsdatenspeicherung-Richtlinie” [data retention directive] was negotiated in under six months, she said according to an 11 Jun 2013 Spiegel article. Laws restricting consumer rights are thus apparently passed much faster than laws guaranteeing consumer rights, in the USA and in the EU.

Reding’s EU data protection reform proposal would allow EU residents’ data to be shared outside the EU if there were appropriate legal protections in place in the recipient countries or organizations. Apparently EU citizens (and US citizens?) cannot sue in US courts in response to inappropriate sharing of their data, for example, so until that changes EU citizens’ sensitive data could not be shared with US groups. On the other hand, as Reding said in a speech at the Dublin summit on 14 Jun 2013, “In Europe, also in cases involving national security, every individual—irrespective of their nationality—can go to a Court, national or European, if they believe that their right to data protection has been infringed. Effective judicial redress is available for Europeans and non-Europeans alike. This is a basic principle of European law.”

Reding’s original proposal said there had to be a Rechtshilfeabkommen, bilateral legal assistance agreement, between the EU and the recipient country, but that bit was deleted before the Prism scandal broke in response to pressure from Washington DC. A group of European parliament members including Jan Philipp Albrecht (Green Party, Germany) and Josef Weidenholzer (Social Democrat, Austria) are now pushing to have the provision put back into the proposal. There is no mutual legal assistance agreement between the USA and the EU.

While some actors in the USA’s recently public “lawless space of the secret services Moloch around the NSA and FBI with its opaque/unmanageable network of private mercenary companies” [“rechtsfreie{r} Raum des Geheimdienstmolochs um NSA und FBI mit ihrem unüberschaubaren Netz an privaten Söldnerfirmen” (F.A.Z., 14 Jun 2013)] might consider themselves not constrained by updated EU data protection rules, Reding’s proposed economic penalties of up to 2% of their international annual gross on companies that incorrectly share EU residents’ sensitive data might have a better deterrent effect on nonshadowlands companies.

(Eh Oo   DOT en shoots ray form.)

Auge in Auge in Auge in Auge in Auge

“Eye to eye to eye to eye to eye,” the Five Eyes alliance of data-sharing intelligence agencies from the countries of UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

(OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh   in   OW! geh)

Miniatur-Wunderland

“Miniature Wonderland,” a flabbergastingly extensive, ambitious, complex, technically impressive and beautiful model train exhibit in Hamburg. They recreated the Swiss Alps, the Frankfurt Airport, a floating Scandinavian cruise ship, Las Vegas and Florida. There are dozens or perhaps hundreds of tiny jokes to hunt for. The sun rises and sets every fifteen minutes, with lights coming on in all the little villages. Visitors can watch the Wunderland artist-engineers at work in their glass cubicles, while they can watch you enjoying the show.

(Min ee ah TOUR   VOON da lond.)

Zwei-Klassen-Internet

“Two-class internet,” Deutsche Telekom’s third current scandal: they plan to charge content providers for not slowing down their content’s delivery, ultimately giving large, financially-established firms an advantage over smaller firms and startups.

By also “throttling” consumers’ internet access speeds, Telekom was planning to cash in at both ends of the pipe. Deutsche Telekom has now conceded to the outrage by announcing they won’t throttle consumers’ internet access as hard or as fast as originally announced.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal wrote on 19 Jun 2013 that large US content companies have already been paying tens of millions of dollars per year per company to large phone and cable internet companies in the USA to keep the network operators from slowing down delivery of their content. The same large content companies could be blackmailed by similar network controllers in every country in the world.

(Tsv eye CLOSS en Internet.)

Akteneinsicht

“View into the files,” access to files, to audit records and check documentation systems. What inspectors and transparency advocates request.

(OCT en EYE n zichh t.)

Quadriga

Latin word for four horses yoked to a chariot, such as the stone statues above Brandenburg Gate that got to watch festivities for the Berlin-Besuch, President Obama’s visit to Berlin this week.

(KVOD ree ga.)

Der stehende Mann

“The standing man.” Silent protesters lingering with intent to witness at the protests in Turkey.

(Dare   SHTAY end eh   MON.)

Salzgemahlte Metallfarben

“Salt-ground metal paints,” a technique used by sixteenth-century Mughal artists, who learned their craft from Persian painters, to create gold, silver and copper paints by first pounding the metal flat between layers of leather and then grinding the foil with coarse salt in a mortar. The salt was removed by rinsing with water, leaving behind metal powder.

(ZOLTS geh MOLT eh   met OLL fah ben.)

Reiseberichte, Reisebeschreibungen

“Travel reports,” “travel descriptions.” Travelogues, books and stories that share a wanderer’s experiences, discoveries, places and times.

From a recent travel article in Spiegel-Online:

“Iran has sensational sights to go and see. The monuments to the poets, the gardens in Shiraz, the oasis idylls of Yazd, the mosques in Isfahan, all were on my itinerary. But then I kept meeting so many wonderful people, whose stories were much more interesting than those narrated by historic stone walls.”

(WRY zeh beh RICK teh,   WRY zeh beh SHRY boong en.)

Vollzugriff und verdachtlose Überwachung

Full access and suspicionless surveillance, what whistleblower Edward Snowden said the NSA and other US intelligence organizations have. In the same Guardian.co.uk interview, Snowden also criticized the NSA’s auditing procedures as practiced.

Geistesblitz

“Mental lightning.” Describes what happens when good ideas occur to you. Wit.

(GUY stess BLITZ.)

Tag der deutschen Einheit

“German unity day.” Celebrated on June 17 for years in West Germany to remember the popular uprising against the East German government 60 years ago this week.

The German unity holiday was changed to October 3 when East and West Germany signed the agreement to reunify on Oct. 3, 1990.

Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck, a regime-critical East German pastor who after the Wall fell led the so-called Gauck-Behörde, the agency created to figure out what to do with the Stasi files left behind by the secret police, said,

“Today it remains essential, everywhere around the world, to stand by / provide backup for those people who, though discriminated against and marginalized, courageously take a stand for freedom, democracy and justice.”

“Es gilt auch heute, überall auf der Welt, jenen beizustehen, die sich obwohl diskriminiert und ausgegrenzt mutig für Freiheit, Demokratie und Recht einsetzen.”

(TOG   dare   DEUTSCH en   EYE n h eye t.)

Überflutungsflächen

“Overflow areas,” deliberately designed flood zones along a river, in wilderness or agricultural regions outside towns. Post-Enlightenment romantic poetry’s rivers of plashing brooks, bosky dapple, und so weiter, were dredged and dug in the nineteenth century into straight deep channels that could be used for peacetime and wartime shipping. In the late twentieth century, amid concerns about global climate change and drowning poor Holland, they started rewilding sections of German rivers by bulldozer into broad serpentine environments with polders that are intended to flood after heavy rains and will hold more water than the old Wilhelmine channels. The ecological results should be interesting, as species move through the new riparian habitat amid lands that have been Feld-Wald-und-Wiesen, fields forests and meadows, for a very long time, possibly centuries in some places.

Jerome K. Jerome’s pre-WWI descriptions of the channelization might be based on actual observation:

“Your German is not averse even to wild scenery, provided it be not too wild. But if he consider it too savage, he sets to work to tame it. I remember, in the neighbourhood of Dresden, discovering a picturesque and narrow valley leading down towards the Elbe. The winding roadway ran beside a mountain torrent, which for a mile or so fretted and foamed over rocks and boulders between wood-covered banks. I followed it enchanted until, turning a corner, I suddenly came across a gang of eighty or a hundred workmen. They were busy tidying up that valley, and making that stream respectable. All the stones that were impeding the course of the water they were carefully picking out and carting away. The bank on either side they were bricking up and cementing. The overhanging trees and bushes, the tangled vines and creepers they were rooting up and trimming down. A little further I came upon the finished work—the mountain valley as it ought to be, according to German ideas. The water, now a broad, sluggish stream, flowed over a level, gravelly bed, between two walls crowned with stone coping. At every hundred yards it gently descended down three shallow wooden platforms. For a space on either side the ground had been cleared, and at regular intervals young poplars planted. Each sapling was protected by a shield of wickerwork and bossed by an iron rod. In the course of a couple of years it is the hope of the local council to have “finished” that valley throughout its entire length, and made it fit for a tidy-minded lover of German nature to walk in. There will be a seat every fifty yards, a police notice every hundred, and a restaurant every half-mile.

“They are doing the same from the Memel to the Rhine. They are just tidying up the country. I remember well the Wehrthal. It was once the most romantic ravine to be found in the Black Forest. The last time I walked down it some hundreds of Italian workmen were encamped there hard at work, training the wild little Wehr the way it should go, bricking the banks for it here, blasting the rocks for it there, making cement steps for it down which it can travel soberly and without fuss.” —From Three Men on the Bummel (1900)

(Ü bah FLEW toongs flechh hen.)

“Wissen, wie es war”

“To know what it was like.” Motto for the twentieth anniversary of the museum for the Stasi documents, the files and systems of the East German secret police, that were saved from destruction, reconstructed despite destruction, archived, read, evaluated, reread and shown to visitors from all over the world.

The decision to preserve the files was not as obvious now as it may seem in retrospect. Some well-meaning West German deciders wondered if finishing the Stasi’s destruction of the files might not be a benison to the Stasi’s victims, in the extremely short term. Fortunately for victims, for voters who in the decades since might otherwise have elected candidates with an “inoffizielle Mitarbeiter” (“unofficial coworker,” “unofficial employee”) past, for people living in police states who are making plans about what to do when the dictatorship falls, and for people living in potential police states, the documents were not destroyed, systems were developed to work with them while preserving privacy for the innocent, and the people at these archives are happy to share what they’ve learned with visitors.

(VISS en   vee   ess   vahr.)

Mietspion

“Rent-a-spy” cybermercenaries, outsourced espionage.

Der Spiegel reported that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden worked for a billion-dollar private company, like a “digital Blackwater,” called Booz Allen Hamilton. With $5.8 billion revenue in 2012? 70% of BAH’s stock is held today by Carlyle Group? Carlyle Group’s website said it has $176 billion “in assets under management” in 2013. A press release on Booz Allen’s website said Carlyle Group had $82 billion “of assets under management” in 2008, when they acquired Booz Allen.

With clients and branch offices around the world, what’s to stop a company that invents, obtains and markets cyberwarfare “solutions” from accelerating or even creating a cyberwarfare arms race by hard-selling hardware and software and hawkish advice to several competing countries at once?

Booz Allen’s locations include: USA, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Booz Allen’s alumni include:

  • James Clapper, current Director of US National Intelligence
  • J. Michael McConnell, NSA Director (1992–1996) and Director of US National Intelligence (2007–2009)
  • R. James Woolsey, CIA Director (1993–1995)

(METE shpee own.)

“Wie wäre es, wenn…?” und “Warum nicht?”

“What if?” and “Why not?,” questions filmmaker Alex McDowell said fiction writers bring to the art and science of speculating about the future.

Willkür

Arbitrariness. When a government does it: despotism. Tributes to Walter Jens said he kept up a fight against despotism, with elegance.

(VILL koor.)

Rasterfahndung

“Grid search,” “raster manhunt.” Pre-crime data dragnet. Controversial German police method pushed into law in the 1970’s “to deal with the Red Army Faction,” preserved through the 1990’s “because of organized crime,” briefly tried out after the 9/11 attacks and considered by its critics to have failed, in which police are given access to big data troves to search for suspects before a crime is committed. The police create profiles of people they think are likely to commit crimes, identify characteristics for those profiles, identify data markers they think indicate those characteristics, and then use computers to “filter” large data troves for people with those markers. Files are opened for closer investigation of those “caught” in the dragnet and their friends, family, neighbors and other associates.

Several million data sets were shared and examined in this way after 9/11 but no arrests were made. The Bundesverfassungsgericht ultimately decided this was not legitimate and said future data investigations of the magnitude used in vain to find “sleepers” in Germany would have to be in response to a “concrete threat to high-level Rechtsgüter,” which might mean legal goods or legally protected interests. At an anti-neonazi march in Dresden in 2011, police got a court’s permission to collect all mobile phone “connections” data [Verbindungsdaten] in a large zone around the demo for several hours. ~300,000 people’s phone data were collected according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, some of which were then used for purposes other than originally submitted. Wikipedia says police also used drones and other cameras to record that demo. Videos from that march have been submitted as evidence in the trial of an anti-nazi youth pastor accused of urging people to throw stones at police.

(ROSS tah FOND oong.)

 

Datenschutzsiegel

“Data protection seal of approval.” A 2008 book on data protection in Germany proposed creating independent auditing agencies who would inspect public and private organizations. If the organizations met standards for data protection, transparency, data security, etc., they would be issued the auditors’ “quality seal” which they could use in their marketing materials as a reputation booster. The auditors would be motivated to keep their own reputation high by not being pushovers, presumably. Multiple reliable auditors could watch each other. Set up well and done honestly, these inspections could ultimately enhance efforts at leak control by keeping whistleblowing from being the only way visible to try to fix the most broken organizations. When these inspectors published what criteria they used to calculate their ratings, smaller organizations down to families and individuals could learn tips about improving their own data protection.

Judging by online search results, squabbling about which data protection inspection seals are worthy may have already begun. There appears to be understandable concern that a company that produces consumer credit scores, which many Germans view with suspicion, also dipped its toe in the data protection certification business. Possible other models suggested for such an independent inspection system included the feared TÜV inspections and Biosiegel (“certified organic.” Bio means organic in German. Öko means treehugger.). An early boost was provided when a German state created demand for the certificate by requiring independent data-protection certification for products, programs and services used by state offices.

(DOT en shoots ZEEG ell.)

Vorsyndromliche Syndromverfolgung

“Pre-syndrome syndrome tracking,” by starting long-term medical studies on groups of workers known to have undergone exposure to certain hazards limited by time and place. To prevent the clouds of confusion of another Gulf War syndrome, reliable medical schools could ask for volunteers for long-term studies on the health developments of veterans of the Second Gulf War, TSA workers who had to stand next to X-ray machines, Fukushima cleanup workers, etc. Regular good checkups and tests might also benefit any American workers who lack health insurance. The questionable environments to which they were exposed should also be evaluated sooner rather than later, recording and taking samples of possible toxins that can be compared to outcomes decades from now.

More than one institution should study each cohort in case their study’s funding gets cut one day.

(FORE zyn DROME lichh ah   zyn DROME fair fol goong.)

Alltagsgeschichte

“History of everyday life,” history of ordinary people and ordinary things they did and made. Alltag in the present is considered rather gray and oppressive in a special way in Germany, at an intensity only made possible by festivals, so another English explanation of Alltagsgeschichte might be history of the LDG, loathsome daily grind, rather than of DWM, dead white males.

Most people who ever lived have been forgotten. The ordinary events in their ordinary lives might have been considered the most unworthy of documentation because ubiquity gives an air of permanence, because the literate few didn’t know how normal people lived or because chroniclers wanted to erase or deny aspects of it. Accidents are thus the source of much of the little we know in Alltagsgeschichte and related branches of historical study. Such as the preservation of medieval clothing cast aside in mountain salt mines, the preservation of Stone Age bodies in Alpine glacier ice, the Viking custom of sacrificing things valuable to them in anaerobic peat bogs. It took an unusual event to bring details of common people’s lives into written forms that were preserved: in witch trial documents clerks wrote down where women were and what they were doing when bedeviled, old coroner’s reports contain information about peasant work, Samuel Pepys’s diary is a unique source of day-to-day detail, and Ken Starr’s report accidentally tells us more about White House routine than any political memoire. Anything that causes secret services to violate people’s rights to privacy will record details of everyday life otherwise lost to posterity. On a lighter note, today’s Bundestagsfloskeln websites, where people can submit examples of classic German parliamentary speech phrases, real or “pastiche,” are accidentally excellent teaching aids to people unfamiliar with parliamentary democracy or the intense German “discussion” tradition.

One wonders what technology, customs and rules might lead to a future Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-type encyclopedia in which important events are narrated in 3D video with realistically embarrassing detail.

(OLL togs geh SHICHH teh.)

“Der Letzte seines Standes”

“The Last of Their Guild,” an excellent show by the Bavarian Broadcasting Channel (BR). Just as the future is here, but not evenly distributed, so is the past still here in surprising ways. The few episodes I saw captured craftsmanship traditions, obsolete and obsolescing technology, old things being preserved by traditions, old things being preserved by new purposes being found for them and giving them new usefulness, and surviving traces of central Europe’s medieval self-limiting labor organizations. By interviewing the people and filming their workshops and methods, they showed viewers the nuts and bolts of a thrilling variety of old jobs, including barrel makers, wheelwrights, and of course the great one about the guy who still braids buggy whips.

Episodes may include working windmills and water wheels.

(Dare   LET stah   z eye n ess   SHTOND ess.)

Der Obergefreite, die Obergefreite

This military rank looks like it means “upper-level liberated person,” but it is translated into English as e.g. “private first class” or “lance corporal.”

(DARE   OH brrr geh FRY tah.)

Volkszählungsurteil

“People-counting judgment,” the census decision made by the German constitutional court in the 1980’s. An online article I found on the history of Germany’s strongest interest in Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (data protection and data security) explained that country’s aversion to census-taking from a historical perspective. The Nazis took an infamous census of “greater German” territories in the 1930’s that collected data used to kill people later, supposedly with the aid of early computing machines. Later generations of Germans, especially the authority-questioning “1968 generation,” were early adopters of fears about the way a fact that is harmless in one context may become dangerous in another, meaning there is no longer such a thing as a harmless datum. It was and is the combination of mandatory registration with the local government of your residence and contact data, which all German residents still have to do, and a proposed resumption of census taking that set off the large protests against a census in Germany. Eventually the German constitutional court issued its decision reaffirming the first sentence of the German Civil Code, the right to human dignity, and saying control and protection of one’s information was protected by that right.

My source said the logic and humanity of the court’s granting of this protection, and seeing that the state obeyed the court’s decision and canceled the census, calmed the fears of the 1968 generation of antifaschist protesters and did a great deal to integrate them into civil society, which they now control.

(Folks TSAY loongs oor tile.)

Bremer Loch

The “Bremen hole,” a coin slot in a (beautiful) cast bronze donation box disguised as a manhole cover among the cobblestones in Bremen’s town square. If you drop a coin in, you’ll hear recordings of the Brementown musicians, activated by a photo cell.

(BRAY mah   LOCHH.)

Die Nachrichtenfrage

“The news question.” Where do you get your news? What reliable news selecters and sharers have you found? What conduits bring you your news?

(Dee   NOCHH richh ten froggah.)

#Drosselkom

Twitter hashtag for snark about Deutsche Telekom’s second current scandal, their unilateral decision to choke new flat-rate customers’ Internet tubes after 02 May 2013.

Telekom’s decision against net neutrality might have given permission to its competitors to take similar steps. In April, internet policy activists were concerned that Arcor purchaser and important ISDN competitor Vodafone had started looking into data throttling as well, but that company responded by saying it was not currently considering so doing.

In a 30 May 2013 interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the president of the German anti-cartel authority [Bundeskartellamt] said that if Deutsche Telekom planned to allow providers to buy their way out of Telekom’s plans to slow down data to its flat-rate consumers, this might be anticompetitive because smaller providers might have trouble paying the new fees charged to resume normal data access or “purchase a priority treatment” as he put it. Yet the anti-cartel authority had decided to neither investigate nor prosecute for anti-competitive market access limitations in this case, merely to get “the clearest possible picture” of the situation. They were concerned that Telekom provide better information to its customers about whether they were close to exceeding data limits and about which services were counting toward customers’ volume limit (companies have until 2016 to make priority partnership agreements with Telekom to have Telekom stop counting their content toward Telekom customers’ volume limits). Also, the president of the anti-cartel authority said, the networks authority [Bundesnetzagentur] would be determining whether network neutrality was being violated enough to require further investigation. The F.A.Z. noted that Telekom is considered a major market player because it controls ~45% of the German DSL market, with ~12.4 million connections, according to the Bundesnetzagentur.

(DROSS ell com.)

Das Vectoring

In the first of its two current scandals, Deutsche Telekom wants to use so-called “vectoring” technology to reduce interference between bundled strands in copper-wire DSL internet connections by increasing and decreasing signals to balance out a more efficient overall electric signal transmission. “Vectoring” requires the Kabelverzweiger, the “cable brancher” or “cross connect” gray box by the side of the street, to be connected to a fiber optic line. Powerful computing is required at the phone company end to “precalculate” the “error suppression” for all transmissions on all DSL lines in the bundle simultaneously in real time. Maximum efficiency requires one central administration of all DSL lines, by one company in other words.

Telekom claims its vectoring only works when a single company controls all the lines at the gray box; “no other companies could then install their own technology there,” the F.A.Z. wrote, voicing the worry about fairness to companies in competition with Telekom. Fairness at the consumer end is also an issue, inter alia because vectoring requires modems specially modified for vectoring technology. Manufacturers such as AVM are already shipping only “vectoring-friendly” modems.

Just before the long Christmas break in 2012, Telekom submitted a request to the Networks Agency (Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA) to modify BNetzA rules to allow its vectoring. After receiving the petition, the Bundesnetzagentur asked companies in the sector to amicably agree on solutions amongst themselves in order to reduce regulatory intervention to a minimum. Deutsche Telekom also tried to calm remonopolization fears by e.g. saying that if competitor companies had connected their own fiber optic lines to gray branching boxes, they could use its vectoring technology too. It also had some new last mile products it wanted to rent out to them.

On 15 May 2013 the Bundesnetzagentur issued a draft approving the partial deregulation—which still must be approved by the EU Commission and the regulatory authorities of the Member States which would have one month to review the proposal after BNetzA’s 24 Apr 2013 hearing—allowing Deutsche Telekom and its competitors to use Telekom’s vectoring while imposing conditions intended to mitigate the old monopoly’s sole control of branching boxes, though the items in this list indicate apparently not to mitigate possible data privacy repercussions caused by the central computational process managing the balancing out of every DSL line. These conditions included:

  • Around questionable boxes, at least one other provider must market a fast internet connection, such as television cable.
  • For Telekom to use vectoring at a box, more than one competitor must be connected to that box.
  • Telekom’s competitors in turn are required to use Telekom’s vectoring in all boxes to which they have connected. Does this give Telekom’s servers access to all those end consumers and their data?

Alternatively, non-“vectoring” options for speeding up DSL connections include so-called “bonding,” bundling in which incoming data packets are distributed through two of the usually four available lines of a DSL connection rather than just being sent through one. Routers that can bundle the unsorted incoming packets will have two DSL inputs instead of just one. There is also a “phantom bundling” option that can take two (four-line) DSL connections and use one line from each connection to create a third, “phantom” circuit that will suffice to “modulate up” DSL signals. It is claimed that Deutsche Telekom’s “vectoring” would be faster than these bundling alternatives and/or speed them up by balancing away the signal bleed between copper wires.

Some Germans are concerned that their internet service providers already are claiming internet speeds they don’t actually deliver or secretly throttling cheap connections; to address these concerns the Bundesnetzagentur studied German broadband quality in 2012 and posted a link to a “broadband test” and a “net neutrality test” (that can’t be run on a wireless network) for consumers on an “Initiative Netzqualität” website scheduled to be shut down in late June 2013. The net neutrality test requires Java. Both tests are for stationary internet connections; neither can be run on a mobile network. Speaking of mobile internet: now that Deutsche Telekom has received approval from US antitrust authorities to merge T-Mobile with competitor Metro PCS, they plan to use some of Deutsche Telekom’s new cash liquidity to build mobile infrastructure in the USA.

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