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Studies of Internet filtering, network interference, and other technologies and practices that impact freedom of expression online.   

Latest Research

Blue Coat Errors: Sites Miscategorized as “Pornography”

As a follow-up to our post about the number of sites miscategorized by SmartFilter, our tests with Blue Coat show that miscategorization is not a problem limited to a single product. We should be skeptical of any company’s claims that they are able to categorize much of the web accurately, or that their rate of “collateral damage” is very low.

IGF 2013: Islands of Control, Islands of Resistance: Monitoring the 2013 Indonesian IGF (Foreword)

This report, Islands of Control, Islands of Resistance: Monitoring the 2013 Indonesian IGF, is the first in a series of Citizen Lab reports that apply a mixture of methods, from technical interrogation to field research and social and legal analyses, to study information controls in and around particular events. This report focuses on information controls in and around Indonesia’s hosting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Asia Chats: LINE Corporation Responds

This post is an update to our report on regionally-based keyword censorship in the popular chat application LINE. It covers responses from LINE Corporation to questions around censorship functionality in the application and recent changes to how keyword censorship and traffic encryption operate in the latest versions of LINE.

Smartfilter: Miscategorization and Filtering in Saudi Arabia and UAE

What do the Trinity Davison Lutheran Church, the Filipino American Women’s Network, the Tucson Jazz Institute, the Sacramento Police Activities League, the Pan Iranist Party of Iran, and the Salvation Army of Houston, Texas have in common?

Their websites are all blocked for Internet users in Saudi Arabia, and for most Internet users in the United Arab Emirates

Asia Chats: Analyzing Information Controls and Privacy in Asian Messaging Applications

This post is an introduction to Asia Chats a research project analyzing
information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used
in Asia. The project will produce a series of reports that will begin
with a focus on WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk. Reports will include
analysis based on our technical investigation of censorship or
surveillance functionality, assessment of privacy issues surrounding
these applications’ use and storage of user data, and comparison of the
terms of service and privacy policies of the applications.

Asia Chats: Investigating Regionally-based Keyword Censorship in LINE

This report by Seth Hardy (Senior Security Analyst, Citizen Lab)
describes the technical details of client-side censorship functionality
in the LINE messenger client for Android, and a method for disabling it.
This post is the first in a series of research reports analyzing
information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used
in Asia. An introduction to the project can be found here