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[ NNSquad ] CenturyTel uses DPI to determine browsing habits for targeted advertising

CenturyTel Inc., a Monroe, La., phone company that provides Internet
access and long-distance calling services, is facing stiff competition
from cellphone companies and cable operators. So to diversify, it's
getting into the online-advertising business.

CenturyTel's system allows it to observe and analyze the online
activities of its Internet customers, keeping tabs on every Web site
they visit. The equipment is made by a Silicon Valley start-up called
NebuAd Inc. and installed right into the phone company's network.
NebuAd takes the information it collects and offers advertisers the
chance to place online ads targeted to individual consumers. NebuAd
and CenturyTel get paid whenever a consumer clicks on an ad.


Robb Topolski (robb@funchords.com)
Hillsboro, Oregon USA

     [ As far as I am concerned, this sort of behavior is utterly and
       completely unacceptable from a conventional ISP at the primary Internet
       access level, whether or not an "opt-out" is offered.  And I love the
       part in the story where they claim that sites related to "sex, health,
       or politics" aren't tracked.  Exactly how is *that* list derived, one
       wonders?  I won't even start here on the many ways that this sort of
       technology could be massively abused.

                               -- Lauren Weinstein
                                  NNSquad Moderator ]