Ethiopia: Evidence of social media blocking and internet censorship

OTF's rapid response support of censorship measurement in Ethiopia, bolstered by a joint collaboration between OTF-supported OONI and Amnesty International, concludes that there has been systematic and illegal blocked access…
Wed, 2016-12-14 15:09

Through in-country censorship tests via OONI probe, the following conclusions were found:

  • WhatsApp was found to be blocked inside Ethiopia.
  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology was detected. DPI is technology that can be bought and deployed on any network, enabling monitoring and filtering of internet traffic. This can be useful as part of network management, but it can also be used for mass surveillance and internet censorship. This finding suggests that Ethiopia has DPI technology in its possession and is deploying it for censorship purposes inside the country.
  • Out of 1,403 different types of URLs that were tested, the types of sites that consistently presented network anomalies and which were more likely to be blocked include:
    • News outlets and online forums
    • Armed groups and political opposition websites
    • LGBTI websites
    • Websites advocating free expression
    • Circumvention tool websites (including Tor and Psiphon)

We thank the brave Girma Walabuma for conducting this research and tests, as well as the work of OONI and Amnesty International to highlight the intricate and multifaceted tactics undertaken by the Ethiopian government to curb access to independent information and abilities to exercise free expression online.

More information can be found at the following links:
Link to report:
Link to Amnesty Press Release: