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Effect of Internet censorship on user behavior

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Steven J. Murdoch.

Most of existing work in the Internet censorship landscape focuses on the censorship system (detection of censorship, identification of the censored content, the mechanism used to execute censorship) and circumvention (design/analysis/evaluation/usability of circumvention/censorship-proof protocols and systems). We seek to understand Internet censorship from the victim’s perspective; how is user behavior modified in response to blocking constraints. In this context, we introduce the concept of persistance which is a new dimension in this area. Persistance is a quantity that measures how motivated users are to access blocked content. We present some preliminary results empirically collected from longitudinal data. The data represents network traffic dumps collected at an ISP in Pakistan during October, 2011 to date—a period during which the country’s censorship system evolved from naive to decent.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Group meeting presentations series.

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