FCC releases Internet speed test tool

Steven Bellovin smb at cs.columbia.edu
Fri Mar 12 13:22:03 CST 2010

On Mar 12, 2010, at 1:57 PM, Scott Weeks wrote:

> --- tme at americafree.tv wrote:
> From: Marshall Eubanks <tme at americafree.tv>
> This might be useful to some. Article :
> http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62B08720100312
> site :http://www.broadband.gov/
> It requires giving your address.
> -----------------------------------------------
> Nah, no real address needed.  Just use 123 elm street abbeville alabama 
> 36310.  That's the first zip code I found on a site...  ;-)

What they really need is something more or less like an accurate zip code, I suspect.  They want to find out what real "broadband" speeds are in different parts of the country.  Putting in a fake address renders your data useless.  One can ask why they aren't using IP geolocation; I suspect it's because it's not accurate enough.  Your address?  They may be interested in how many cable-feet you are from a CO, for DSL linkes.

Now -- under the Privacy Act, if they're collecting addresses I believe they had to do a Privacy Impact Assessment.  Since I can't imagine why it would be classified, it should be publicly available.  I don't see it, but I don't have time today to look for it.

		--Steve Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb

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