VICE News

Are mobile carriers already violating net neutrality?

A new app may be able to detect when mobile carriers slow down access to certain apps or content

by William Turton
Feb 3 2018, 1:59pm

The Federal Communication Commission's controversial repeal of net neutrality last year has yet to go into effect, but a researcher at Northeastern University has built an app that detects when mobile carriers may be throttling traffic to apps like Netflix and YouTube.

Dave Choffnes and his Ph.D. students built the app, called WeHe, last year and now it's available for anyone to download. All of the data collected by the app, the first of its kind, will be used as part of Choffnes’ research study to collect and analyze more data on how mobile carriers throttle certain apps across the country. Critics of the repeal say it will allow internet service providers to favor certain content or require content providers to pay for faster speeds.

VICE News tested the app with Choffnes and found that a mobile carrier throttled traffic that appeared to be coming from YouTube.

This segment originally aired Jan. 26, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.