Monthly Archives: October 2017

Internet Censorship in Pakistan: Findings from 2014 to 2017

We confirm detection of 210 blocked URLs in Pakistan. Explicit blockpages were observed for many of these URLs, while others were blocked by means of DNS tampering.

Many of the blocked URLs are considered blasphemous under Pakistan’s Penal Code for hosting content related to the controversial “Draw Mohammed Day” campaign. Geopolitical power dynamics appear to be reinforced through the blocking of sites run by ethnic minority groups.

Pakistani ISPs appear to be applying “smart filters”, selectively blocking access to specific web pages hosted on the unencrypted HTTP version of sites, rather than blocking access to entire domains. Overall, we only found ISPs to be blocking the HTTP version of sites, potentially enabling censorship circumvention over HTTPS (for sites that support encrypted HTTPS connections).

On a positive note, popular communications apps, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, were accessible during the testing period. We find that the Tor network, which enables its users to browse the web anonymously, was mostly accessible.

Read the full report here.

Publication date: 18th October 2017

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference & Bytes for All Pakistan

Evidence of Internet Censorship during Catalonia’s Independence Referendum

We confirm the blocking of at least 25 sites related to the Catalan referendum by means of DNS tampering and HTTP blocking, based on OONI Probe network measurements collected from three local networks. OONI data shows that these sites were blocked every day from (at least) 25th September 2017 (when the testing started) leading up to the referendum day, on 1st October 2017.

Learn more here.

Publication date: 3rd October 2017

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) and Virtual Road/Qurium

OONI Run: Let’s fight internet censorship together!

OONI released OONI Run, a website linked to an exciting new OONI Probe mobile app feature that enables you to:

  • Engage your friends (and the world) to run censorship measurement tests
  • Monitor the blocking of your website around the world

OONI Run includes a variety of OONI Probe software testsdesigned to:

By choosing the tests that interest you and the sites you want to test, generate a link via OONI Run and share it. Alternatively, embed the widget code to monitor the accessibility of your site. The global OONI Probe community can then respond!

Learn more here.

Publication date: 27th September 2017

Publisher: Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)