Monthly Archives: August 2018

The State of Internet Censorship in Venezuela

Media censorship appears to be quite pervasive, as a number of independent media websites were found to be blocked in Venezuela (primarily) by means of DNS tampering. Blocked news outlets include El Pitazo and El Nacional, while La Patilla was temporarily blocked in June 2018.

Walkie-talkie app Zello was reportedly blocked during Venezuela’s 2014 protests and recent measurements suggest that the service remains blocked by state-owned CANTV. Other blocked sites include a number of currency exchange sites, as well as blogs expressing political criticism.

Censorship circumvention has (possibly) become harder in Venezuela, as CANTV blocked access to the Tor network and to public obfs4 bridges two months ago.

Read the report here.

Publisher: OONI, IPYS Venezuela, Venezuela Inteligente

Publication date: 16th August 2018

South Sudan: Measuring Internet Censorship in the World’s Youngest Nation

Established in July 2011, South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. But the transition to independence from Sudan has been far from smooth, as the country experiences an ongoing civil war. Even though internet penetration levels remain quite low, two media websites and two independent blogs were reportedly blocked last year.

This report is a joint research effort by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) and South Sudan’s The Advocates for Human Rights and Democracy (TAHURID). We examine internet censorship in South Sudan through the collection and analysis of network measurements.

Our findings corroborate reports on the blocking of media outlets Sudan Tribune and Radio Tamazuj, and independent blogs Nyamilepedia and Paanluel Wel, suggesting that these sites have been blocked for a year. MTN appears to block TCP/IP connections to these sites, while IPTEC appears to block access by means of DNS tampering. Measurements collected in 2017 highlight the presence of the Mikrotik HTTP transparent proxy.

Read more here.

Publication date: 1st August 2018

Publisher: OONI & TAHURID

Mali: Social media disruptions amid 2018 presidential election?

Two days ago, on 29th July 2018, Malians went to the polls to vote in presidential elections and reported that social media was inaccessible.

This is not the first time that social media is reportedly blocked in Mali. Facebook and Twitter were blocked two years ago amidst violent protests against the detention of a popular radio host. Last month, Internet Sans Frontieres reportedthat social media was disrupted in Mali, following a violent police crackdown on banned opposition protests calling for transparency and accountability in the 2018 presidential elections.

In this post, OONI and Internet Sans Frontieres share OONI network measurement data, corroborating local reports on the blocking of WhatsApp and Twitter during Mali’s 2018 presidential election.

Read more here.

Publication date: 31st July 2018

Publisher: OONI & Internet Sans Frontieres