CensorWatch: On the Implementation of Online Censorship in India

Resource Type:
Research Reports, Working Paper

State authorities in India order domestic internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites and services. We developed a mobile application, CensorWatch, that runs network tests to study inconsistencies in how ISPs conduct censorship. We analyse the censorship of 10,372 sites, with measurements collected across 71 networks from 25 states in the country. We find that ISPs in India rely on different methods of censorship with larger ISPs utilizing methods that are harder to circumvent. By comparing blocklists and con- textualising them with specific legal orders, we find concrete evidence that ISPs in India are blocking different websites and engaging in arbitrary blocking, in violation of Indian law.

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