It is expected that heavier information controls will be imposed around political events such as an election, when access to information is highly critical.

This project will bring together researchers and civil society actors to document information controls, develop and deliver rapid responses, and disseminate these findings.

Information Control Watch will promote improved online access to information in Iran through app development and research to enable greater understanding about the role that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play in implementing government information controls such as online censorship. From ASL19’s experience localizing circumvention, privacy and security tools for users in Iran, they have learned from Iranian Internet users that in addition to information controls, reliable Internet service and connectivity remains the most pressing issue and challenge to accessing information on the Internet in Iran.

The project includes two main components: (1) Based on the assumption that reliable Internet connectivity is vital to online access to information, an ISP consumer review app will be developed to promote the best Internet service providers; (2) Research and monitoring of information controls ahead of the 2016 Majlis (parliamentary) elections, which will provide unique and holistic insights on just-in-time information controls in Iran. This will be achieved through comparing network multiple data sets, including network throughput, circumvention usage and contextual socio-political data.