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

Latest Research

Shutting the Backdoor: The Perils of National Security and Digital Surveillance Programs

The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new report by Director Ron Deibert, “Shutting the Backdoor: The Perils of National Security and Digital Surveillance Programs,” written for the Strategic Studies Working Group (SSWG), a partnership between the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI) and the Canadian International Council (CIC).

Monitoring Information Controls During the Bali IGF

On October 22-25, 2013, Indonesia will host the eighth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the issues and policies of Internet governance. The main theme of this year’s IGF is “Building Bridges: Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development.”

This post is the first in a series that will explore online freedom of expression and the state of information controls in Indonesia in the context of their role as host of the IGF.

An Indonesian translation of this post is available here.

Terjemahan dalam bahasa Indonesia dari halaman ini tersedia disini.

Who’s the Boss? The difficulties of identifying censorship in an environment with distributed oversight: A large-scale comparison of Wikipedia China with Hudong and Baidu Baike

This project is a large-scale comparison of the three services, matching thousands of Chinese-language Wikipedia articles with their in-China counterparts, in order to identify the “content gaps” in the two baike. The difficulties of identifying traditional cases of information control in environments with distributed oversight like online enclopedias will be discussed. The research methodology and some of the initial results (including tables of possibly censored articles) will also be presented.

Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux

The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of Some Devices Wander by Mistake: Planet Blue Coat Redux. In this report, we use a combination of network measurement and scanning methods and tools to identify instances of Blue Coat ProxySG and PacketShaper devices. This equipment can be used to secure and maintain networks, but can also be used to implement politically-motivated restrictions on access to information, and monitor and record private communications. We found Blue Coat devices on public networks of 83 countries. Included in these countries are regimes with questionable human rights records, and three countries that are subject to US sanctions: Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

Using the China Chats surveillance/censorship keyword list: analyzing blocked terms, search result numbers, and overlaps of censored terms between services

Working with the just-released China Chats keyword list, Jason Q. Ng extended The Citizen Lab/UNM’s analysis by checking whether each of the 4,256 keywords was blocked from searching on Sina Weibo. This report includes further analysis and examination of other potential censorship tactics by Weibo revealed in the data.

China Chats: Tracking surveillance and censorship in TOM-Skype and Sina UC

In this collaborative study between the Citizen Lab and Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico we examine the implementation of censorship and surveillance in two IM clients maintained by two different Chinese companies. For a period of more than a year and a half, we downloaded and decrypted the censorship and surveillance keyword lists used by the client software of two IM programs used in China: TOM-Skype and Sina UC.