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Category Archives: surveillance

Media Cloud Technical Lead Position


Media Cloud is hiring a new technical lead for the project. This position is dear to my heart, because the new hire will take over many of my duties on the project, including most importantly driving the technical direction of the project, which includes an ambition slate of improvements to the system as we enter […]

Net Neutrality in the Networked Public Sphere


Earlier this week, I published a new paper on the net neutrality debate in the public sphere with my co-authors Rob Faris, Bruce Etling, Dalia Othman, and Yochai Benkler. In this paper, we use the Media Cloud Controversy Mapper to identify over 16,000 stories about net neutrality from 2013-12-01 to 2014-11-17. We use that data […]

Russian Blogs as an Alternative Public Sphere


I am proud to be releasing today with my co-authors Bruce Etling and Rob Faris an analysis of the Russian media evology, in which we show that blogs serve as a critical alternative public sphere in Russia. Here’s one of the key visualizations from the paper: This diagram compares words used in the same sentence […]

Internet Censorship and Control


The Internet is and has always been a space where participants battle for control. The two core protocols that define the Internet – TCP and IP – are both designed to allow separate networks to connect to each other easily, so that networks that differ not only in hardware implementation (wired vs. satellite vs. radio […]

Our Circumvention Research Does Not Support SOPA


Daniel Castro of The Information Technology & Innovation Fund recently published a paper supporting the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in congress. In that report, he claims that research performed by us supports the domain name system (DNS) filtering mechanisms mandated by SOPA. This claim is a distortion of our work. We […]

Local Control: About 95% of Chinese Web Traffic is Local


While exploring the structure of national networks through our Mapping Local Internet Control project, we decided to combine our national network data with Google’s AdPlanner data to estimate the overall locality of web site traffic in individual countries. The most interesting result so far is that we estimate that 96% of all page views in […]

Tor and Journalism Vulnerabilities


I was recently quoted in a story in the New Scientist about a new attack on Tor. The quote was a combination of somewhat sloppy wording on my part and a lack of context on the reporter’s part, so I’d like to provide context and more precise wording here. The quote is: “There are lots […]

Independent Media Sites in Belarus Reportedly Hijacked During Election


Belarus is holding an election today. This election is particularly important because Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, sometimes referred to as the ‘last dictator of Europe,’ has allowed a fair degree of freedom throughout the campaign, including giving free airtime on national TV to opposition candidates, during which they were allowed to criticize him without censorship. However, […]

Amazon’s Wikileaks Takedown


For the past year, I’ve been working on a study on distributed denial of service (ddos) attacks against independent media and human rights sites with colleagues at the Berkman Center. The resulting report will be out shortly, but one of the main conclusions is that independent media sites are not capable of independently defending themselves […]

Filtering and Circumvention in Iran


Here’s a guest post I wrote yesterday for the MIT Technology Review about filtering and circumvention during the protests in Iran.