OONI Partnership Program
What is the OONI Partnership Program?
The OONI Partnership Program is a collaboration between the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) team and groups or organizations around the world on the study of internet censorship. Such groups/organizations can include NGOs, hackerspaces, media organizations, legal associations and research groups.
What is the aim of the OONI Partnership Program?
Through the Partnership Program, we aim to:
increase transparency and public awareness of internet censorship;
support public debate on internet censorship;
support research on internet censorship;
Input from partners is essential in terms of understanding:
the local network landscape and how ISPs are structured;
which URLs and apps would be interesting to test for censorship in a particular country;
the governmental landscape and how to publicize results effectively.
What does the OONI Partnership Program entail?
The OONI Partnership Program was created in an attempt to examine internet censorship more strategically and within local context through collaboration with local experts. To this end, depending on the role of each partner organization, the partnerships can include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
Collecting ooniprobe network measurements;
Reviewing community resources for censorship measurement research;
Communicating internet censorship findings to the public.
Collecting ooniprobe network measurements
We want to work with partners who are interested in monitoring internet censorship on an ongoing basis through the collection of ooniprobe network measurements.
To this end, partners are encouraged to deploy ooniprobe in local vantage points for the stable and continuous collection of daily measurements. This can enable us to compare results across time and to better detect and evaluate cases of internet censorship.
Internet censorship is not always carried out countrywide, nor always implemented in the same way across networks. As such, running ooniprobe within various different networks in each country is an important component of the OONI Partnership Program.
Reviewing community resources for censorship measurement research
Censorship findings are only as interesting as the types of sites and services that are tested.
Censorship measurement research requires local expertise, an understanding of which sites and services are more likely to be blocked, or which would be interesting to test for censorship.
The Citizen Lab supports OONI and other censorship measurement projects with a public resource that contains lists of URLs to test for censorship. These lists include:
We are always looking to collaborate with groups and organizations that can help create, update, and review the above resources that are tested for internet censorship. This collaborative process would help include more URLs which are relevant to the country’s local context and which are potentially interesting to test for censorship.
Communicating internet censorship findings to the public
We aim to increase transparency and public awareness of internet censorship by communicating the main findings through reports, blogs and data visualizations.
While we may be in a position to analyze the collected network measurement data, we are probably not best suited to explain the meaning of the findings within local context. That obviously requires local expertise (in terms of laws, policies, etc.), and that’s where we believe partners can play a crucial role.
We aim to collaborate with partners to examine internet censorship within legal, social, and political context, and to communicate the findings to the public. We also hope that our partners will use the findings as part of their local policy and advocacy efforts.
Who can join the OONI Partnership Program?
Groups and organizations interested in examining internet censorship are encouraged to join the OONI Partnership Program. This can include (but not necessarily limited to):
Ideally, we would like to foster collaboration between various different types of groups/organizations, each of which could contribute to the study of internet censorship from a different lens. This would also allow for the distribution of efforts amongst different groups.
Various hackerspaces, for example, can contribute to the data collection by running ooniprobe within different networks. Lawyers can examine the legality of internet censorship. Media organizations can report on the findings, NGOs can provide further analysis within the context of digital rights, and research groups can use the collected data to explore questions of their own. Through this collaborative approach between groups and organizations, we aim to improve the study of internet censorship around the world.
If you’re interested in joining the OONI Partnership Program, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (PGP Key Fingerprint: 4C15 DDA9 96C6 C0CF 48BD 3309 6B29 43F0 0CB1 77B7).
How can OONI support its partners?
OONI can support you in the following ways:
Technical support: We can guide you through the entire process of using our software, whether that involves running ooniprobe from your computer or setting up a Raspberry Pi to run ooniprobe. Throughout the duration of the partnership, you can rely on us for technical support when using our software.
Creating/Reviewing lists of URLs to test for censorship: We will support you in terms of creating and/or reviewing lists of URLs to test for internet censorship throughout the duration of the partnership.
Data analysis. This is the main way that we will support you. Analyzing OONI’s data can be quite complicated, particularly since it requires a fair amount of specialized expertise. We prioritize on analyzing data for our partners. Such data analysis is a prerequisite to confirming censorship events with accuracy.
Communicating the findings: We will support you in terms of communicating the main findings from ooniprobe measurements to the public. Such support can include the writing of reports and blogs and, in some cases, the creation of data visualizations.
We might also be able to support partners in other additional ways, though this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.