The Managing Director of the Telecom Transparency Project, Christopher Parsons, was interviewed about the use of ‘perma-cookies’. These cookies involve Internet service providers modifying their customers’ data packets to insert unique identifiers into packet headers. These identifiers are subsequently used for user tracking and advertisement purposes.
Parsons stated that signals intelligence services and other security agencies “already track Canadians, Americans and citizens of other nations using unencrypted identifying information and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t use perma-cookies for similar tracking purposes.”
Implanting perma-cookies involves using deep packet inspection technologies to transform the content of subscribers’ communications. To learn more about the politics of using deep packet inspection for advertising purposes, see Dr. Parsons’ dissertation, The Politics of Deep Packet Inspection: What Drives Contemporary Western Internet Service Provider Surveillance Practices.