A Look at the Consequences of Internet Censorship Through an ISP Lens

TitleA Look at the Consequences of Internet Censorship Through an ISP Lens
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKhattak, S., Javed M., Khayam S. Ali, Uzmi Z. Afzal, & Paxson V.
Other Numbers3713

Internet censorship artificially changes the dynamics of resourceproduction and consumption, affecting a range of stakeholders thatinclude end users, service providers, and content providers. Weanalyze two large-scale censorship events in Pakistan: blocking ofpornographic content in 2011 and of YouTube in 2012. Using traf-fic datasets collected at home and SOHO networks before and after the censorship events, we: a) quantify the demand for blockedcontent, b) illuminate challenges encountered by service providersin implementing the censorship policies, c) investigate changes inuser behavior (e.g., with respect to circumvention) after censorship,and d) assess benefits extracted by competing content providers ofblocked content.


This work was partially supported by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grants CNS : 1223717 (“Censorship Counterstrike via Measurement, Filtering, Evasion, and Protocol Enhancement”) and CNS : 1237265 ("Beyond Technical Security: Developing an Empirical Basis for Socio-Economic Perspectives"). Additional funding was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through grant number EP/L003406/1. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Bibliographic Notes

Proceedings of the Internet Measurement Conference 2014 (IMC 2014), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Abbreviated Authors

S. Khattak, M. Javed, S. Ali Khayam, Z. Afzal Uzmi, and V. Paxson

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in conference proceedings