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

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