‘Extremely aggressive’ internet censorship spreads in the world’s democracies

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The largest collection of public internet censorship data ever compiled shows that even citizens of the world’s freest countries are not safe from internet censorship.


A University of Michigan team used Censored Planet, an automated censorship tracking system launched in 2018 by assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science Roya Ensafi, to collect more than 21 billion measurements over 20 months in 221 countries. They will present the findings Nov. 10 at the 2020 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

“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,” Ensafi said.

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Ensafi’s team found that censorship is increasing in 103 of the countries studied, including unexpected places like Norway,

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