Our joint proposal with OONI has made it to the “semi-finals” of the Knight News Challenge. The theme is How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation? The proposal is posted below but please head over to our Knight challenge page and “applaud” it.
Global Internet Monitoring Project
With the rapid growth of censorship and surveillance practices that directly or indirectly violate civil and human rights, it has become of vital importance to augment our incidental and anecdotal understanding of these practices with on-going, evidence-based reporting on what is actually happening on our networks. To achieve this requires a globally distributed network of standardized network measurement nodes, as well as powerful analysis and visualization tools.
We, the Tor project and Chokepoint Project, have over the past two years amassed extensive technical and domain-specific expertise on the detection, analysis and reporting of surveillance and censorship events. The Tor Project has been developing open standards, software and a methodology for conducting measurements. Chokepoint Project has been working on near real-time processing, analysis, visualization and contextualization of this type of data.
For this proposal, we aim to extend, improve and integrate the existing software systems and analysis tools, with the goal of enabling more comprehensive, evidence-based, and up-to-date reporting on censorship and surveillance events. Our proposal works towards this goal with a three-pronged approach:
1. Expand and improve Tor’s ooni-probe software suite, which provides the basic infrastructure to support a globally distributed measurement network.
- Support for running ooniprobe on raspberry pi devices.
- Running tests periodically, making ooniprobe a system daemon.
- Support for remotely provisioning probes with tests and inputs to run based on their geographical location and ASN.
2. Integrate and enhance Chokepoint’s data analysis and visualization tools, to incorporate and report on data from the ooniprobe software suite.
- Automated processing of ooniprobe yaml reports.
- Automated analysis of ooniprobe yaml reports.
- Automated collection of ooniprobe yaml reports
- Support for automated generation of analytics visualization and analytic data downloads.
3. Reach out to Tor’s and Chokepoint’s extensive list of contacts to plan the deployment of ooniprobes “on the ground”, in a selected set of 10 to 20 countries.
- Survey creation and distribution to determine country specific internet use
- User feedback features
- Training material
- Plan for software distribution
Since no country is alike, and internet use is equally diverse, any measurement needs to be contextualized into a regional socio-political framework. Surveys will be distributed to on-the-ground partner organizations to construct a measurement methodology that yields culturally relevant results.