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Measuring and Countering Slowdown as a Censorship Mechanism

Measuring and countering throttling as a censorship mechanism.

In addition to directly blocking specific sites or shutting down the internet entirely, throttling internet connectivity is also an effective tactic employed by repressive states to deter people from accessing censored content. For example, after the Iranian government lifted a block on the popular messaging app Telegram in January 2018, authorities continued to slow down connections to Telegram in a continued effort to keep Iranian citizens off the platform. By making connectivity painfully slow, authorities can achieve the same ends but with the additional cover of not technically blocking access in totality.

This project will address this gap in censorship documentation and mitigation. A methodology to measure throttling will be developed, as will a prototype anti-throttling tool. The open source tool will offer users a way to mitigate slowdowns, and testers will explore ways it can be integrated with existing anti-censorship solutions.

This project seeks to systematically measure slowdown/throttling in China. Additionally, the project also plans to build a prototype open source tool that can counteract throttling and investigate ways it can be integrated with existing anti-censorship solutions.

Funding to date

2019 $150,000.00 18 months
Internet Freedom Fund

Total Funding: $150,000.00

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