What can circumvention data tell us about the dynamics of internet censorship and online behaviour?

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Session Description

This workshop will focus on what can be learned from circumvention network data about the social implications of Internet censorship. It will provide a brief overview of the different manifestations of information control online, what these look like ‘on the wire’, and how circumvention tools help provide people access around these barriers. This session will explain how using statistics collected from the Psiphon network, we can map developments in the social, political, and media landscape against changes in the network data to understand more about the dynamics of Internet censorship and what are its impacts on people’s online behaviour. This methodology will be explained through three case studies of real-time information controls during critical events such as political instability, conflict, and national elections. Finally, we will open breakout group discussions on how this data set and methodology can be applied to ongoing and future projects. Internet censorship across the world is increasing in its intensity and dynamism. In this context, it is essential for advocacy groups, civil society actors, activists, and other proponents of digital rights to have a greater understanding of the online censorship landscape to help formulate strategies, advocate policies, and engage with stakeholders. Moreover, this session aims to inform participants about important datasets and methodological tools available to them which we hope can be useful in their ongoing and future efforts in the sphere of digital rights advocacy.

What can circumvention data tell us about the dynamics of internet censorship and online behaviour?
Presenter/s Keith McManamen
Organization Psiphon
Bio/s I joined Psiphon in 2015, after pursuing undergraduate studies in political science and english, specialized in the rhetoric of digital media and the impacts of technology on political and social movements. As a strategic analyst, I monitor trends in information controls, media, and social and political dynamics around the world, in an effort to contextualize data from the Psiphon network against these patterns in real-time.
Language English

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