[tor-talk] Evidence of recent censorship events in Spain and China
maria at openobservatory.org
Tue Sep 26 11:34:33 UTC 2017
Hello Tor community,
I am sending this email to share OONI data providing evidence of recent
censorship events in Spain and China.
As of yesterday, OONI Probe users in Spain started testing the blocking
of sites associated to the upcoming Catalan Independence Referendum.
The sites that were added for testing can be found here:
If you know of other sites that should be added to this testing list,
please create a pull request or send them to me via email.
As of today, we have started collecting network measurements which
provide **evidence of the DNS blocking of sites related to the Catalan
Below are some examples:
To find more examples, please filter the measurements through the
following page: https://explorer.ooni.torproject.org/country/ES
You can filter the measurements through the following steps:
1. Click "Filter Results" in the Spanish OONI Explorer page:
2. Add a domain in the "Test Input" section that already exists in the
Spanish test list:
it's not included in this list, then that URL hasn't been tested)
3. Click "Apply Filter".
This will now present you with all the measurements pertaining to the
domain that you selected. By clicking on each of those measurements, you
will be able to find evidence of the blocking at the bottom of each
"measurement page", by clicking on "object" (thus opening up the
We **confirm that the blocking of WhatsApp in the AS9808 network in
China started on 23rd September 2017**.*
*Network measurements collected from that network over the last days show:
WhatsApp blocked on 25th September 2017:
WhatsApp blocked on 24th September 2017:
WhatsApp blocked on 23rd September 2017:
In contrast, WhatsApp was found to be accessible in that network on 22nd
September 2017 (and during all the previous dates):
This strongly suggests that this ISP started blocking WhatsApp on 23rd
It's worth highlighting that, as of yesterday, we see this ISP
increasing the censorship of WhatsApp. During the previous dates (23rd &
24th September), they were only blocking TCP connections to WhatsApp's
But as of yesterday (25th September), they are **ALSO blocking access to
WhatsApp's registration service** -- therefore enhancing the censorship
It's also worth noting that these measurements have only been collected
from one ISP (AS9808). Therefore, it remains unclear to us whether other
ISPs in China are blocking access to WhatsApp as well, or whether the
block is being implemented on a nation-wide level.
The measurements that we collect depend on the OONI Probe users in
China, and where they choose to run tests.
You can filter the WhatsApp measurements collected from China through
the following steps:
1. Access the China OONI Explorer page:
2. Click "Filter Results".
3. Select "WhatsApp" in the drop-down menu of "Test Name".
4. Click "Apply Filter".
You will now be presented will all the OONI network measurements showing
the testing of WhatsApp in China. By clicking on each individual
measurement, you will be able to find more information by clicking
"object" (uncovering technical details).
We encourage you to use this data as part of advocacy efforts and
censorship circumvention advice.
All the best,
Research and Partnerships Coordinator
Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)
PGP Key Fingerprint: 2DC8 AFB6 CA11 B552 1081 FBDE 2131 B3BE 70CA 417E
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