Why do some countries censor the internet?
Frankly we do not know and you would need to ask the respective governments why they are doing it.
Where does the data comes from?
We use a mashup of data coming from herdict.org and the OpenNet Initiative. The data was made available to us during the EU Hackathon 2011. We also use the Google Map API. Geocodes for cities are drawn from geonames.org
What is the Herdict Data telling us?
Herdict collects reports from users trying to access Websites. If the Site fails to load an error report will appear in Herdicts databse. However, it is not clear from the data where the block comes from. This can be due to internet-censorship, but it can also be due to network outages, child 'safer surf' blockers installed by parents or a filter used by your company or internet-cafe. To only account for 'real' internet blocking, we cleaned the database to only report multiple incidents for Website blockings for each country.
What did we use the Open Net Initiative Database for?
We took the freedom and censorship indicators from the ONI-Report and based our scoring system on the different classifications.
How can I circumvent censorship?
There are many ways to circumvent censorship and the best method depends on the specific situation. During the game you can only circumvent censorship by using Telecomix proxies. In reality you can read up more about censorship at www.telecomix.org.
How is the score computed?
Scores are computed on a per-country basis where we use the OpenNet Initiatives freedom indices to calculate a general censorship-index which is the basis for the score computation. So connecting a user from a country with many blocked sites to a website yields a higher result than connecting a user from a low-censorship country!
What the game is about
'Beat the censor' is about understanding the basic principles of internet censorship and how to circumvent it. The player takes over the role of 'the internet' and has to connect demand for a website to the certain site in a given time. For the most part, this is not much of a problem, but at some point the censors kick in, and try to block access to certain sites for users in their country. So what should you do, if somebody in China wants to access Facebook or the Wikipedia? Find it out while playing our game!
Code is released under Apache v2.0 license.
Access denied!Acces denied by Internet Protocol (IP) address blocking: Access to the site has been blocked by blocking out the IP assigend to the particular website. Every website has its own IP and is connected to it. (e.g. EUHackathon.eu is called 188.8.131.52 by your computer). People often use a proxy to beat the censor! Don't know what a proxy is? Find out later!
Access denied!Access denied by Domain name system (DNS) filtering and redirection: Access to the site has been blocked by jamming the translation from the sites Web-Adress [www.euhackathon.eu] to its IP-Adress (which is 184.108.40.206 in this case). The censor tells the server either to return no IP or a wrong one. People can use a Domain Name Server from another country to beat the censor.
Access denied!Keyword filtering: URL or contents of the page are scanned for target keywords regardless of the domain name specified in the URL. Access will be blocked if a Keyword appears [e.g. 'Sex'] either in the URL or in the Sites text. This may occur, even if 'sex' is only part of a word [e.g. 'sextet'] People often use slight abrevations of filtered keywords to beat the censor!
Access denied!Denial-of-service-attacks: Censors sometimes try to bring down critical information by sending massive requests to the Website, which at some point, forces the site down. It was used heavily to stop access to opposition webpages in Egypt and other countries of the 'Arab Spring'. People share critical information on a lot of servers, possibly in different jurisdictions to beat the censor!
Access denied!In an extreme case, governments might even try to shut down the whole internet, as they dont wan't people to mobilise and socialise using Web-Services such as Twitter, Facebook etc. People use 'low level' entry tools to Webservices, such as SMS to Tweet. Activists around the world try to provide infrastructure to beat the censor!
Thanks for playing!
We showed you, how the internet experience is different for people in different countries and you got to know the tools to circumvent blocking.
Your goal is to connect users to their desired pages.Start Game