Exploring Internet Balkanization through the Lens of Regional Discrimination

Principal Investigator(s): 
Sadia Afroz

One of the Internet’s greatest strengths is the degree to which it facilitates access to any of its resources from users anywhere in the world. Various forces, however, have arisen that restrict particular users from accessing particular destinations, resulting in a "balkanization" of the network. This project explores apt methodologies for understanding such balkanization, an effort we will undertake in the context of examining "regional discrimination," i.e., the degree to which certain web services deny or degrade access to users from particular geographic regions. The goal is to develop techniques that can (1) illuminate the blocking practices of websites at scale, (2) characterize the implications of such balkanization for both users and websites, and (3) identify alternative approaches that can reduce the adverse effects of blocking.