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An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory

Censored Planet is a censorship measurement platform that collects data using multiple remote measurement techniques in more than 200 countries.

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The Censored Planet Observatory

The Censored Planet Observatory uses remote measurement techniques such as Augur, Satellite, Qauck and Hyperquack to run remote censorship measurements for thousands of websites. These techniques use features in existing Internet protocols and infrastructure to interact with remote systems, using their responses to determine the presence or absence of censorship. Thus, we eliminate the need for accessible vantage points or volunteers in different countries, surpassing scale, coverage, continuity, and safety limitations.


The observatory uses a modular design for measuring and analyzing Internet censorship. Censored Planet continously measures reachability to 2,000 websites from more than 95,000 vantage points in 221 countries (a 42-360% increase compared to other measurement platforms). Censored Planet also includes a rapid focus feature that can analyze certain censorship events in depth. Censored Planet finds increasing levels of censorship in 103 countries, and has detected more than 15 key censorship events.


The Censored Planet Observatory

The Censored Planet Observatory uses remote measurement techniques such as Augur, Satellite, Qauck and Hyperquack to run remote censorship measurements for thousands of websites. These techniques use features in existing Internet protocols and infrastructure to interact with remote systems, using their responses to determine the presence or absence of censorship. Thus, we eliminate the need for accessible vantage points or volunteers in different countries, surpassing scale, coverage, continuity, and safety limitations.


The observatory uses a modular design for measuring and analyzing Internet censorship. Censored Planet continously measures reachability to 2,000 websites from more than 95,000 vantage points in 221 countries (a 42-360% increase compared to other measurement platforms). Censored Planet also includes a rapid focus feature that can analyze certain censorship events in depth. Censored Planet finds increasing levels of censorship in 103 countries, and has detected more than 15 key censorship events.


Talks

Data

All the data collected from the Observatory is publicly available

Latest Reports

Our research publications are often technical and complex, here we aim to communicate our research to a broader audience.

Throttling of Twitter in Russia

As of March 10, 2021, Russia has throttled access to several Twitter-related domains.

Read Report

Investigating Filtering of COVID-19 Websites

A global study of filtering of websites from top COVID-19 search results

Read Report

Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory

Exploring 20 months of censorship measurement data collected from 221 countries shows evidence of increasing censorship in many countries.

Read Report

US Government and military websites are geoblocked from Hong Kong and China

US government and military websites have implemented technical measures to drop traffic from China and Hong Kong.

Read Report

Latest Reports

Our research publications are often technical and complex, here we aim to communicate our research to a broader audience.

Throttling of Twitter in Russia

As of March 10, 2021, Russia has throttled access to several Twitter-related domains.

Read Report

Investigating Filtering of COVID-19 Websites

A global study of filtering of websites from top COVID-19 search results

Read Report

Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory

Exploring 20 months of censorship measurement data collected from 221 countries shows evidence of increasing censorship in many countries.

Read Report

US Government and military websites are geoblocked from Hong Kong and China

US government and military websites have implemented technical measures to drop traffic from China and Hong Kong.

Read Report

Call for Students

We are always looking for promising students (computer science, political science, journalism) and developers to join our team!

Call for Students

We are always looking for promising students (CS, political science, journalism) and developers to join our team!

Featured Publications

March 2021 Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC) 2021

Lost in Transmission: Investigating Filtering of COVID-19 Websites

Anjali Vyas Ram Sundara Raman Nick Ceccio Philipp Lutscher Roya Ensafi

PDF Talk Slides

@inproceedings{vyas2021lost,
title = {Lost in Transmission: Investigating Filtering of COVID-19 Websites},
author = {Vyas, Anjali and Sundara Raman, Ram and Ceccio, Nick and Lutscher, Philipp and Ensafi, Roya},
booktitle={In Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC)},
year={2021}
}

November 2020 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2020

Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory

Ram Sundara Raman Prerana Shenoy Katharina Kohls Roya Ensafi

Press: Censored Planet Michigan News CACM WSWS

PDF Talk Slides

@inproceedings{sundararaman2020censoredplanet,
title = {Censored Planet: An Internet-Wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory},
author = {Sundara Raman, Ram and Shenoy, Prerana and Kohls, Katharina and Ensafi, Roya},
booktitle={In ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)},
year={2020}
}

October 2020 ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC)

Investigating Large Scale HTTPS Interception in Kazakhstan

Ram Sundara Raman Leonid Evdokimov Eric Wurstrow J. Alex Halderman Roya Ensafi

Press: Google Mozilla BBC CNet The Register Forbes Ars Technica EFF ZDNet Private Internet Access Voice of America

PDF Talk Slides

@inproceedings{sundararaman2020investigating,
title={{Investigating Large Scale HTTPS Interception in Kazakhstan}},
author={R. Sundara Raman, L. Evdokimov, E. Wustrow, A. Halderman, and R. Ensafi},
booktitle={In ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC)},
year={2020}
}

February 2020 Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS)

Measuring the Deployment of Network Censorship Filters at Global Scale

Ram Sundara Raman Adrian Stoll Jakub Dalek Reethika Ramesh Will Scott Roya Ensafi

Press: Censored Planet Michigan CSE

PDF Talk Slides

@inproceedings{sundararaman2020measuring,
title={Measuring the Deployment of Network Censorship Filters at Global Scale},
author={Sundara Raman, Ram and Stoll, Adrian and Dalek, Jakub and Ramesh, Reethika and Scott, Will and Ensafi, Roya},
booktitle={Proceedings of the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2020, San Diego, California, USA},
year={2020}
}

February 2020 Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS)

Decentralized Control: A Case Study of Russia

Reethika Ramesh Ram Sundara Raman Matthew Bernhard Victor Ongkowijaya Leonid Evdokimov Annie Edmundson S. Sprecher Muhammad Ikram Roya Ensafi

Press: Associated Press CPJ Voice of America MSN ABC News New York Times Washington Post University of Michigan News

PDF Talk Slides

@inproceedings{ndss20-russia,
title={Decentralized Control: A Case Study of Russia},
author={R. Ramesh, R. Sundara Raman, M. Bernhard, V. Ongkowijaya, L. Evdokimov, A. Edmundson, S. Sprecher, M. Ikram, R.Ensafi},
booktitle={Proceedings of the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2020, San Diego, California, USA},
year={2020}
}

In the Media

Censored Planet projects and research reports have appeared in various news outlets and tech publications.


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