netflow in the core used for surveillance

Avi Freedman avi at
Mon Aug 30 16:24:57 UTC 2021

Hi, all.

Re: last week's thread on the Vice article -

I can only speak for Kentik, and *we* don't resell or give 3rd party access
to NetFlow data from our hundreds of customers.  And never have.

But there is definitely interest out there.  We do get approached about it
periodically and always say no.  Mostly by commercial vendors and not (at
least directly) by governmental bodies.

Of course, our *customers* could in theory share their data via API key, or
by using our outbound streaming firehose.  But I've never talked to a
customer who wanted to share their flow data with a 3rd party.  Usually by
far the opposite.

The closest thing to this that our customers do ask about is re: aggregate
community views, which people could contribute to to help themselves and
the community.  While we don't do this now, if and when we do it: 1) won't
be with raw data, 2) will be opt-in only, 3) will be designed with
customers and have open methodology; and 4) will be likely with synthetic
test, BGP, device metrics, and other non-flow data to start.


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