Internet censorship isn’t always obvious. Blocking may come and go, or censors might block just part of a site. Automating detection helps to unmask sneaky blocking attempts. Ooniprobe is a mobile application which lets people in censorship-prone areas contribute to a global picture of what’s hidden.
“OONI” stands for “Open Observatory of Network Interference.” It’s part of the Tor Project.
In many countries, mobile phones are the main way to access the Net. Personal computers are rare. Ooniprobe lets Net watchdogs report they can’t access to the Ooni Explorer page, which gives country-by-country information. Measurements are very thin in some countries, and Ooniprobe should help collect more information in those places.
The project reports tests were run in 126 countries on the day of Ooniprobe’s release.
Ooniprobe isn’t designed to provide any privacy. People who live where it’s dangerous even to attempt accessing banned websites need to judge the risk for themselves. Standing up to rulers who want the truth hidden is always risky. The people helping out with OONI know it’s worth the risk, and I thank them.