Happy New Year!
We’d like to share updates from the OONI team over the last 3 months. Below I share our October 2022 report, and I’ll follow-up to share our November and December 2022 reports.
# OONI Monthly Report: October 2022
Throughout October 2022, the OONI team worked on the following sprints:
- Sprint 75 (1st-9th October 2022)
- Sprint 76 (10th-23rd October 2022)
- Sprint 77 (24th-31st October 2022)
Our work can be tracked through the various OONI GitHub repositories: https://github.com/ooni
Highlights are shared in this report below.
## New OONI Team member
In October 2022, Kathrin Elmenhorst joined the OONI team! Kathrin will work on improving the data quality of OONI measurements and adding support to OONI Probe for new experiments.
## Launch of Advocacy Assembly OONI training course
On 30th September 2022, Small Media’s Advocacy Assembly launched our online OONI training course (https://advocacyassembly.org/en/courses/63/#/chapter/1/lesson/1).
Following the launch, we published a blog post to share the course with our community: https://ooni.org/post/2022-ooni-training-course-advocacy-assembly/
This 90-minute free, online training course provides a deep-dive into measuring internet censorship with OONI Probe, and using OONI Explorer to access and interpret real-time OONI data collected from around the world. Designed for human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and researchers, the course includes a mix of videos, screencasts, slides, quizzes and hands-on exercises. It also features case study videos from OONI community members, and the course is available in English, Arabic, Spanish, and Farsi.
## OONI Probe Desktop
In October 2022, we released OONI Probe Desktop 3.8.1 (https://github.com/ooni/probe-desktop/releases/tag/v3.8.1) which was supported by OONI Probe CLI 3.16.4, and which fixed an issue affecting the OONI Probe Signal test. Specifically, Signal changed their root CA, resulting in our Signal test leading to false positives globally. We documented this issue and the fix we implemented in the following ticket: https://github.com/ooni/probe/issues/2344
## Farsi translation of OONI Probe Mobile and Desktop User Guides
Thanks to our community’s localization efforts, we published a Farsi translation of:
- OONI Probe Mobile User Guide: https://ooni.org/fa/support/ooni-probe-mobile
- OONI Probe Desktop User Guide: https://ooni.org/fa/support/ooni-probe-desktop
## OONI Run
As part of our work to release an improved version of OONI Run (“OONI Run v2”), we have written a specification describing the new functionality. In October 2022, we updated the specification to include more details about the descriptor format (https://github.com/ooni/spec/pull/249#issuecomment-1286974194).
## Expanding censorship measurement methodologies
We started moving traffic generated by OONI Probe to a remote host at the TCP/IP level to flexibly implement integration testing in a censored environment. The overall idea has been documented in the following ticket: https://github.com/ooni/probe/issues/2340
The main pull request (https://github.com/ooni/probe-cli/pull/969) includes a fully working prototype. We also merged pull requests that re-introduce the TProxy functionality (https://github.com/ooni/probe-cli/pull/975) and other functionalities (https://github.com/ooni/probe-cli/pull/976).
## OONI Explorer
In October 2022, we continued working on OONI Explorer localization efforts, which involved moving hardcoded text to translation files and uploading them to Transifex in order for translators to fill in missing strings (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/805). We also fixed the text alignment for languages that require RTL support (https://github.com/ooni/ooni.org/issues/1264, https://github.com/ooni/ooni.org/pull/1269).
We continued working on OONI Explorer user accounts and on the user feedback reporting mechanism, which will enable users to login and contribute feedback about each measurement (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/790).
We also worked on the following OONI Explorer improvements:
- Build process optimisations that result in smaller Docker image (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/807);
- Replaced Babel with SWC for faster code transpilation (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/804);
- Refactored the MAT filters to virtualize rows which improves the performance and memory usage when we’re showing a big list of rows (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/809);
- Removed unused environment variables to reduce ambiguity (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/807);
- Refactored the OONI Explorer Search page to move the API request from server side to client and improve rendering speed (https://github.com/ooni/explorer/pull/799).
Moreover, we contracted a designer to help us improve the user interface of OONI Explorer pages over the next months.
## OONI Test Lists Editor
Due to the API changes on the backend, code was refactored to only use one endpoint instead of three to retrieve data. These changes contribute to simpler code and improved performance of the Test Lists Editor: https://github.com/ooni/test-lists-ui/pull/67/
## OONI backend
In October 2022, we worked on the following backend activities:
- Made backend adjustments to annotate OONI Probe Signal measurements as “failed” as a temporary solution to an issue (https://github.com/ooni/pipeline/pull/400), and updated the measurements in the database;
- Looking into legacy-probe entry points and worked towards disabling the onion service;
- Disabled the MySQL and PostgreSQL interfaces (https://github.com/ClickHouse/ClickHouse/issues/40994);
- Test list API: Added measurement summary statistics in the test list UI/API to enable review (https://github.com/ooni/api/pull/309) and added statistics from measurement feedback;
- Backend changes to handle unsupported countries in test lists (https://github.com/ooni/api/pull/310);
- Wrote an internal design document to look into moving away from orchestrate for login/registration and documented the next steps;
- Added a probe login metric and implemented other fixes (https://github.com/ooni/api/pull/311);
- Fixed the API aggregation time range (https://github.com/ooni/api/pull/309).
# Advancing OONI data analysis
We made progress on our new data analysis tool (https://github.com/ooni/data), through which we aim to automate the detection and characterization of more forms of internet censorship. Specifically, we added support for generating blocking events based on OONI Probe Signal measurements (https://github.com/ooni/data/pull/10), we introduced a shared data directory for storing assets needed for performing analysis tasks (eg. GeoIP databases and blockpage fingerprints) (https://github.com/ooni/data/pull/8), and we improved testing and the CLI (https://github.com/ooni/data/pull/9).
## Published new OONI Code of Conduct
In October 2022, we published a new version of the OONI Code of Conduct (CoC): https://ooni.org/get-involved/code-of-conduct/
To help ensure a safe and inclusive environment for the global OONI community, we created a new Incident Response Committee with the goal of improving OONI’s Code of Conduct (CoC) and addressing any CoC violations when they occur. In collaboration with the Committee and based on community feedback collected from several meetings, we re-wrote and published a new version of OONI’s Code of Conduct (CoC).
## Published a survey to collect community feedback on OONI’s strategic priorities
Leading up to OONI’s 10th Anniversary (5th December 2022), we wanted to collect community feedback to help inform the development of our strategic priorities for the future.
As the OONI community has always been at the heart of our work, we consider it essential that community needs continue to inform OONI’s future goals and priorities. We therefore circulated a survey to collect community feedback that can help shape OONI’s strategic priorities for the future.
On 20th October 2022, we published a blog post which links to the survey: https://ooni.org/post/2022-survey-ooni-strategic-priorities/
We thank all community members for their valuable feedback!
## Test list updates
In October 2022, we discussed with Netalitica how we can improve our policies for updating test lists, with the goal of improving the quality of measurements and simplifying the workflow of researchers. Specifically, we discussed cases that involve updating URLs to HTTPS, how to handle parked domains or domains that otherwise no longer exist, and about involving researchers in the process of determining which URLs to configure for automated prioritized testing.
We reviewed and merged multiple pull requests that involve updates to the Thai test list, contributed by our partner, Thai Netizen Network (https://ooni.org/partners/thai-netizen-network/). These pull requests are the following: https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1152, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1169, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1168, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1167, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1166, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1165.
We also reviewed the pull requests contributed (via our Test Lists Editor) by community members for the test lists of France (https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1125), the Global test list (https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1162, https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1163), and several other test lists (https://github.com/citizenlab/test-lists/pull/1159).
## OONI citations
### Freedom on the Net Report 2022
OONI data (and OONI research reports) are cited in the following Freedom on the Net 2022 (https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2022/countering-authoritarian-overhaul-internet) country reports:
- Iran: https://freedomhouse.org/country/iran/freedom-net/2022
- Myanmar: https://freedomhouse.org/country/myanmar/freedom-net/2022
- Malaysia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/malaysia/freedom-net/2022
- Cuba: https://freedomhouse.org/country/cuba/freedom-net/2022
- Azerbaijan: https://freedomhouse.org/country/azerbaijan/freedom-net/2022
- Colombia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/colombia/freedom-net/2022
- Ethiopia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/ethiopia/freedom-net/2022
- Italy: https://freedomhouse.org/country/italy/freedom-net/2022
- Jordan: https://freedomhouse.org/country/jordan/freedom-net/2022
- Kenya: https://freedomhouse.org/country/kenya/freedom-net/2022
- Saudi Arabia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/saudi-arabia/freedom-net/2022
- Tunisia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/tunisia/freedom-net/2022
- UAE: https://freedomhouse.org/country/united-arab-emirates/freedom-net/2022
- Uzbekistan: https://freedomhouse.org/country/uzbekistan/freedom-net/2022
- Zambia: https://freedomhouse.org/country/zambia/freedom-net/2022
### Ranking Digital Rights Research Lab
Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) launched a new Research Lab which discusses how researchers can make use of OONI tools and data (among other resources).
The RDR Research Lab is available here: https://rankingdigitalrights.org/research-lab/preparing-your-research/
### Team CommUNITY’s publication
Team CommUNITY published a blog post (“Internet Freedom Tools, Resources & Actions to Support Iran’s Feminist Uprising”) which cites our research report on new blocks that emerged in Iran amid protests (https://ooni.org/post/2022-iran-blocks-social-media-mahsa-amini-protests/).
Team CommUNITY’s blog post is available here: https://www.digitalrights.community/blog/tools-resources-actions-to-support-irans-feminist-uprising
## Community activities
### OTF Shutdown Getdown Event
Between 12th-14th October 2022, OONI’s Maria and Arturo traveled to Oxford to attend the OTF Shutdown Getdown event. This 3-day event brought internet measurement projects together to share skills and knowledge around measuring internet censorship and shutdowns.
As part of our participation at this event, we:
- Presented OONI as part of a lightning talk;
- Facilitated a workshop to collect community feedback on OONI’s Measurement Aggregation Toolkit (MAT);
- Facilitated a workshop to brainstorm on methods for measuring throttling;
- Co-facilitated a workshop with M-Lab which aimed to introduce participants to the various measurement datasets available for investigating different aspects of internet shutdowns.
### OONI Community Meeting
On 25th October 2022, we hosted the monthly OONI Community Meeting on our Slack channel (https://slack.ooni.org/), during which we discussed the following topics:
Feature request: Adding support to the MAT for filtering measurements based on multiple domains
Upcoming 10th OONI Anniversary: Community survey and feedback for related activities
Test lists updates and re-thinking the test lists
On 27th October 2022, OONI’s Arturo presented our research on measuring the blocking of encrypted DNS services (and how this experiment is now part of OONI Probe) at RIPE85: https://ripe85.ripe.net/
In October 2022, 66,272,107 OONI Probe measurements were collected from 2,797 AS networks in 169 countries around the world.
This information can also be found through our measurement stats on OONI Explorer (see chart on “monthly coverage worldwide”): https://explorer.ooni.org/
~ OONI team.