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Posted by: thepinetree on 11/19/2020 05:23 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 11/19/2020 05:33 PM
Expires: 01/01/2025 12:00 AM
:

Research Shows ‘Extremely Aggressive’ Internet Censorship Spreading in World’s Democracies

Ann Arbor, MI...The largest collection of public internet censorship data ever compiled shows that even citizens of what are considered the world’s freest countries aren’t safe from internet censorship.  The University of Michigan team used its own Censored Planet tool, an automated censorship tracking system launched in 2018, to collect more than 21 billion measurements over 20 months in 221 countries. They recently presented a paper on the findings at the 2020 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.


Roya Ensafi, CSE Research Assistant Professor, uses her computing system, Censored Planet, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on September 10, 2018. The system continuously monitors internet censorship by utilizing public servers around the world to monitor and report when website access is blocked in specific countries. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing



“We hope that the continued publication of Censored Planet data will enable researchers to continuously monitor the deployment of network interference technologies, track policy changes in censoring nations, and better understand the targets of interference,” said Roya Ensafi, U-M assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science who led the development of the tool.

Poland blocked human rights sites; India same-sex dating sites

Ensafi’s team found that censorship is increasing in 103 of the countries studied, including unexpected places like Norway, Japan, Italy, India, Israel and Poland. These countries, the team notes, are rated some of the world’s freest by Freedom House, a nonprofit that advocates for democracy and human rights. They were among nine countries where Censored Planet found significant, previously undetected censorship events between August 2018 and April 2020. They also found previously undetected events in Cameroon, Ecuador and Sudan.

While the United States saw a small uptick in blocking, mostly driven by individual companies or internet service providers filtering content, the study did not uncover widespread censorship. However, Ensafi points out that the groundwork for that has been put in place here.

“When the United States repealed net neutrality, they created an environment in which it would be easy, from a technical standpoint, for ISPs to interfere with or block internet traffic,” she said. “The architecture for greater censorship is already in place and we should all be concerned about heading down a slippery slope.”

It’s already happening abroad, the researchers found.

“What we see from our study is that no country is completely free,” said Ram Sundara Raman, U-M doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering and first author of the study. “We’re seeing that many countries start with legislation that compels ISPs to block something that’s obviously bad like child pornography or pirated content.

“But once that blocking infrastructure is in place, governments can block any websites they choose, and it’s a very opaque process. That’s why censorship measurement is crucial, particularly continuous measurements that show trends over time.”

Norway, for example—tied with Finland and Sweden as the world’s freest country, according to Freedom House—passed laws requiring ISPs to block some gambling and pornography content beginning in early 2018. Censored Planet, however, uncovered that ISPs in Norway are imposing what the study calls “extremely aggressive” blocking across a broader range of content, including human rights websites like Human Rights Watch and online dating sites like Match.com.

Similar tactics show up in other countries, often in the wake of large political events, social unrest or new laws. News sites like The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, for example, were aggressively blocked in Japan when Osaka hosted the G20 international economic summit in June 2019. News, human rights and government sites saw a censorship spike in Poland after protests in July 2019, and same-sex dating sites were aggressively blocked in India after the country repealed laws against gay sex in September 2018.

The researchers say the findings show the effectiveness of Censored Planet’s approach, which turns public internet servers into automated sentries that can monitor and report when access to websites is being blocked. Running continuously, it takes billions of automated measurements and then uses a series of tools and filters to analyze the data and tease out trends.

The study also makes public technical details about the workings of Censored Planet that Raman says will make it easier for other researchers to draw insights from the project’s data, and help activists make more informed decisions about where to focus.

“It’s very important for people who work on circumvention to know exactly what’s being censored on which network and what method is being used,” Ensafi said. “That’s data that Censored Planet can provide, and tech experts can use it to devise circumventions.”

Censored Planet’s constant, automated monitoring is a departure from traditional approaches that rely on volunteers to collect data manually from inside countries.

Manual monitoring can be dangerous, as volunteers may face reprisals from governments. Its limited scope also means that efforts are often focused on countries already known for censorship, enabling nations that are perceived as freer to fly under the radar. While censorship efforts generally start small, Raman says they could have big implications in a world that is increasingly dependent on the internet for essential communication needs.

“We imagine the internet as a global medium where anyone can access any resource, and it’s supposed to make communication easier, especially across international borders,” he said. “We find that if this continues, that won’t be true anymore. We fear this could lead to a future where every country has a completely different view of the internet.”

The study is titled “Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory.” The research team also included former U-M computer science and engineering student Prerana Shenoy and Katharina Kohls, an assistant professor at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. The research was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Award CNS-1755841.


Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
No Subject
Posted on: 2020-11-19 17:29:11   By: Anonymous
 
The dawning of the internet and electronics opened the door wide open for this!!!

[Reply ]

    Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
    Posted on: 2020-11-19 18:22:19   By: Anonymous
     
    When Steve Bannon called for the beheading of Faucci, and another, Twitter blocked him, Farcebook did not.

    So It's ok for Sukerberg to allow Bannon to post very violent posts, but if Dorsey - Twitter blocks Bannon, it's censorship?

    Sounds like snowflake fascist Conservative BS to me.

    Haven't we had enough of this shyte?

    Farcebook, Fox, hate radio is a cancer on America.

    This shyte has to end, or American Democracy will.

    We are at a crossroad, either we stand up and say No , or America as we now it is over.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
      Posted on: 2020-11-19 19:53:47   By: Anonymous
       
      ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

      [Reply ]

      Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
      Posted on: 2020-11-19 20:13:05   By: Anonymous
       
      Intelligent people have a pretty good bs detector. Let people decide for themselves if they want to look at something or read it!!

      You nor anyone has the right to censor and block free speech. Look at Hong Kong. Free speech went less than a year ago and now you can be imprisoned for life for criticizing the government.

      First goes free speech and then everything else.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
        Posted on: 2020-11-19 20:18:26   By: Anonymous
         
        A free press is crucial. That’s why Trump calling the news the enemy of the people is so dangerous.

        [Reply ]

          Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
          Posted on: 2020-11-19 21:18:19   By: Anonymous
           
          Even you can tell the difference from expressing an opinion and actually trying to suppress or silence the press. If anything he encourages freedom of expression.

          The thought police and "intellectual" bullies tend to be on the new left. Anything you don't agree with has to be banned or at least labeled as evil or hateful.

          Oh how I miss the old ACLU liberals

          [Reply ]

            Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
            Posted on: 2020-11-19 21:26:38   By: Anonymous
             
            Getting criticized on Twitter isn’t censorship, even if it feels crummy.


            [Reply ]

          Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
          Posted on: 2020-11-19 21:34:34   By: Anonymous
           
          Trump is Right. And yes stating the truth is dangerous that is why many whistle blowers end up dead.

          [Reply ]

            Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
            Posted on: 2020-11-20 07:51:15   By: Anonymous
             
            "Trump is Right". Talk about dangerous lies.

            [Reply ]

        Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
        Posted on: 2020-11-20 04:24:41   By: Anonymous
         
        Look at how many sports "hero's" they like to be called, like LeBron James, wouldn't speak out for Hong Kong and most in the NBA because they are millionaires and billionaire's because of China, . If they did speak up for Hong Kong they'd lose their sponsers and more. Oh looky, those in the NBA, those black sports figures, most are democrats, go figure. They won't speak up against China, oh looky, the Biden Family and China....😳

        [Reply ]

      Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
      Posted on: 2020-11-19 21:40:39   By: Anonymous
       
      That is your opinion. Mine is a complete opposite of yours. This is the growing divide we have boiling in this country. How do you see this ever ending? I'm sure my opinion will be the complete opposite of yours.

      [Reply ]

      Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
      Posted on: 2020-11-20 04:17:49   By: Anonymous
       
      Those companies like FB and Twitter have nothing to do with Conservatives , those are the people who wanted Biden to win. Along with our mainstream media all of them censored many of the great things Trump has done while only reporting on the things that did not do what they thought were good.
      Face the facts, when it comes to corruption, felons, criminals, censorship, Antifa, violent demonstration, looting, the Democrats, The Left, are the King's of it all, the ones who will do anything illegal to get what they want.


      [Reply ]

        Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
        Posted on: 2020-11-20 11:02:22   By: Anonymous
         
        KINGS? Trump is trying desperately to subvert the election. That is what a wannabe king would do. He has admitted that he would like to be in the WH for the next 12 years.

        [Reply ]

          Re: Twitter Blocks Bannon Farcebook -No
          Posted on: 2020-11-20 11:28:54   By: Anonymous
           
          Only because it keeps him out of jail, it’s not like he really wants to do the work.

          [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-11-19 18:55:51   By: Anonymous
     
    Yes, unfortunately those that worked in the industry early on had ethics.

    [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-11-19 20:36:42   By: Anonymous
     
    Trump was right.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2020-11-20 07:52:17   By: Anonymous
       
      Yeah, and Rudy is righter!!

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2020-11-19 21:28:52   By: Anonymous
 
Notice this study says America is doing fine, but people still want to see the narrative that conservatives are being censored. Maybe people are sick of your old ideas.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-11-19 22:00:41   By: Anonymous
     
    It does not say we are doing fine. It said, "the study did not uncover widespread censorship." The censorship was happening long before this study, and that statement could mean (most likely) that the largest amount of censorship happened before they began to study it. Those who use the internet for information and learning have noticed what is gone, hidden, deleted, removed from the view of the majority of users.

    -------------What was actually stated in the article------------------
    "While the United States saw a small uptick in blocking, mostly driven by individual companies or internet service providers filtering content, the study did not uncover widespread censorship. However, Ensafi points out that the groundwork for that has been put in place here."

    “When the United States repealed net neutrality, they created an environment in which it would be easy, from a technical standpoint, for ISPs to interfere with or block internet traffic,” she said. “The architecture for greater censorship is already in place and we should all be concerned about heading down a slippery slope.”

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2020-11-19 22:05:47   By: Anonymous
       
      Let’s get real. Facebook and Twitter. Delete that b s

      [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2020-11-20 08:00:07   By: Anonymous
       
      The Trump administration repealed net neutrality.

      [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-11-19 22:35:31   By: Anonymous
     
    This study looks alot like the smoke and mirror deflecting of pointing fingers at others to hide what you are doing that seems to be the norm lately. I do not trust this study.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2020-11-20 04:13:11   By: Anonymous
       
      Comcast/Xfinity censors email and tv


      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2020-11-20 07:53:01   By: Anonymous
         
        FREE PORN FOR ALL.

        [Reply ]

          Polls- 89% of Republicans Believe Dump Won
          Posted on: 2020-11-20 09:53:32   By: Anonymous
           
          Where did so many get the idea dump won the election?
          Turn on the Reich media- Fox, OAN, Newsmax, hate radio and hear the shyte we heard yesterday from the dump sedition squad.
          Even on Fox when one of the lawyers from yesterday's SNL skit posing as a news conference, was on t Carson's show , carlson asked for documentation she had none. Carlson then said you have nothing.
          The OAN head guy screamed dump won, this is a Democratic coup!

          This is why so many believe the lies of the Republicans. The Republicans joining in the sedition of dump, all need to be outed for their sedition and voted out when they come up their next election.

          Only 2 Republicans- Romney, Sasse have spoken out about the treason of dump and his cult.

          This is a sad time for America. We have Rupert Murdock to thank for the cancer in America.

          [Reply ]

            Re: Polls- 89% of Republicans Believe Dump Won
            Posted on: 2020-11-20 11:03:46   By: Anonymous
             
            ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

            [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2020-11-20 17:53:11   By: Anonymous
     
    You have the right to not like my ideas. You don't have the right to censor mine though. Nor even if I disagree with you have the right to tell you not to say it or publish it.

    [Reply ]


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