Monthly Archives: April 2017

The State of Internet Censorship in Myanmar

Out of 1,927 sites that were tested for censorship in six local vantage points in Myanmar, only five sites presented signs of TCP/IP and HTTP blocking, including the sites of the U.S. embassy in Myanmar and of the Organization of American States (OAS). The motivation and justification behind the potential blocking of these sites remains unclear. No block pages were detected as part of this study that can confirm cases of censorship.

Similarly, no middle boxes were detected as part of this study. Blue Coat software (some types of which can potentially be used for internet censorship and surveillance) was previously detected in Myanmar by OONI in late 2012. Extensive tests though performed across six different networks in Myanmar show that Blue Coat software didn’t appear to be present during the testing period (25th October 2016 to 28th February 2017), indicating that it may have been removed.

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and the Tor network appeared to be accessible across all six networks in Myanmar where OONI tests were run.

Read the full report here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), Sinar Project, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO)

Publication date: 29th March 2017

Examining internet blackouts through public data sources

Pulling the plug on the internet is one of the ways that governments around the world attempt to exert control over the flow of information.

While the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) project has developed numerous software tests for examining different forms of internet censorship (such as the blocking of websites, instant messaging apps, and censorship circumvention tools), we currently do not have tests that are designed to examine internet blackouts, when the internet as a whole is rendered inaccessible within a location.

Over the last months we received many reports relating to internet blackouts in various countries around the world. In some of these countries we had probes running OONI tests, but merely asserting that an internet blackout had occurred just because we stopped receiving measurements probably wouldn’t have been accurate. As such, we started to refer to other public data sources that could help us gain a better understanding of potential network disruptions in countries where internet blackouts were reported by locals.

In this post we outline some basics from our methodology when examining internet blackouts through public data sources.

Read the post here.

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)

Publication date: 28th March 2017