Making sense of internet censorship: a new frontier for internet measurement

By: 
Sam Burnett, Nick Feamster
Appears in: 
CCR July 2013

Free and open access to information on the Internet is at risk: more than 60 countries around the world practice some form of Internet censorship, and both the number of countries practicing censorship and the proportion of Internet users who are subject to it are likely to increase. We posit that, although it may not always be feasible to guarantee free and open access to information, citizens have the right to know when their access has been obstructed, restricted, or tampered with, so that they can make informed decisions on information access. We motivate the need for a system that provides accurate, verifiable reports of censorship and discuss the challenges involved in designing such a system. We place these challenges in context by studying their applicability to OONI, a new censorship measurement platform.