[ooni-talk] [New Report] Azerbaijan: Media censorship through the lens of network measurement

Maria Xynou maria at openobservatory.org
Fri Jul 2 13:55:57 UTC 2021


Today, in collaboration with Azerbaijan Internet Watch, we co-published a
new research report titled: "*Media censorship in Azerbaijan through the
lens of network measurement*".

Our report is available through the following sites:

* OONI: https://ooni.org/post/2021-azerbaijan/

* Azerbaijan Internet Watch:

*# Key Findings*

As part of our analysis of OONI measurements collected from Azerbaijan
between January 2020 to May 2021, we found:

** Blocking of independent news media and circumvention tool websites.*
Throughout the testing period, several independent news media and
circumvention tool sites presented HTTP failures caused by connection
timeouts. This suggests the potential use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
by ISPs in Azerbaijan.

** Attempts to block Tor and Psiphon. *ISPs in Azerbaijan attempted to
block Tor and Psiphon amid the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. However, both
attempts appear to have been quite ineffective, as these tools have
built-in circumvention fallback options. Tor Metrics also show a spike in
usage during this period.

** Temporary blocking of social media amid 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.*
Between September 2020 to November 2020, several social media websites
presented the same HTTP failures (as news media and circumvention tool
sites), while the testing of WhatsApp and Telegram presented signs of TLS
level interference.

** Variance of censorship across networks.* ISPs in Azerbaijan appear to be
adopting similar censorship techniques. However, censorship varies from
network to network, as different ISPs block different websites and apps at
different moments in time.

This study was carried out through the use of open methodologies, free and
open source software, and open data, enabling independent third-party
verification of our research findings.

We encourage researchers to expand upon this study by running OONI Probe (
https://ooni.org/install/) and analyzing OONI measurements from Azerbaijan (

We thank all OONI Probe users in Azerbaijan for contributing measurements,
making this study possible. <3

Please help spread the word:
https://twitter.com/OpenObservatory/status/1410923462512857100 &

Thank you,

OONI team.
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