Monthly Archives: August 2016

Ethiopia: Internet Shutdown Amidst Recent Protests?


Nearly 100 deaths and thousands of arrests have been reported in Ethiopia over the last days, as part of protests against the marginalization and persecution of the Oromos and Amharas, Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups. But the attacks and arrests may not have been the only forms of retribution carried out by the Ethiopian government in its crackdown against protesters.

Last weekend, the internet was reportedly shut down in the country.

In an attempt to understand whether the internet was in fact shut down, we looked at some public sources of data that contain information about internet traffic. Such data provides strong indicators that the internet was most likely shut down during the Ethiopian protests last weekend, though it remains unclear if this occurred in all regions and/or on all types of networks across the country.

Read more here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference & CIPIT Strathmore University

Publication date: 10th August 2016

OONI releases new Web Connectivity test for detecting online censorship


Today the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) is excited to be releasing a brand new test, called Web Connectivity, which is designed to detect three different types of censorship: DNS tampering, TCP/IP blocking and HTTP blocking.

Read more here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference

Publication date: 3rd June 2016

How Uganda blocked social media, again


Today we are releasing data which indicates that two ISPs in Uganda – Smile Telecom (Uganda) and Orange – carried out IP blocking to censor access to major social media services. Interestingly, OONI’s findings illustrate that social media is not consistently blocked across networks, and that certain cases of censorship can be easily circumvented.

Read more here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference

Publication date: 17th May 2016

Why we still recommend Signal over WhatsApp… even though they both use end-to-end encryption


WhatsApp’s collaboration with Open Whisper Systems recently brought end-to-end encryption to the lives of a billion people around the world. (Open Whisper Systems develops Signal, an open source mobile messaging and VoIP app.) When WhatsApp integrated the encryption protocol developed for Signal, many of us began using end-to-end encryption without even realizing it.

Undoubtedly, this is an exciting and important development that will help protect the privacy of users all over the world. In this post, however, we would like to explain why we recommend Signal over WhatsApp, even though they both use the same protocol for end-to-end encryption.

Read more here.

Publisher: Tactical Technology Collective

Publication date: 23rd May 2016

OONI Data Reveals How WhatsApp Was Blocked (Again) in Brazil


Following the latest reports of WhatsApp being blocked in Brazil, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) ran tests locally in Brazil to detect the technical details of how censorship was implemented. This blog post includes a publication of our measurements, revealing that Brazilian ISPs blocked WhatsApp’s website through DNS hijacking.

Read more here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)

Publication date: 6th May 2016

OONI Explorer: Censorship and other Network Anomalies Around the World


Today the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) team is pleased to announce the public beta release of OONI Explorer: a global map of more than 8.5 million network measurements which have been collected across 91 countries around the world over the last 3 years.

Read more here.

Publisher: The Tor Project

Publication date: 23rd March 2016