State of Internet Censorship 2016

Presented at 33C3 (2016), Dec. 28, 2016, 8:30 p.m. (60 minutes)

2016 has been marked by major shifts in political policy towards the Internet in Turkey and Thailand, a renegotiation of the responsibilities of content platforms in the west, and a continued struggle for control over the Internet around the world. Turbulent times, indeed. In this session, we'll survey what's changed in Internet surveillance and censorship in the last year, and provide context for the major changes affecting the net today.

The good news is the community ability to monitor and act as a watchdog on policy changes is continuing to develop. The Open Observatory effort has set its sights on monitoring country policy, the US Department of State has called for proposals in the area infusing additional money, and groups like Access Now and Great Fire are working on regular measurement of services and access technologies.

As we move from an Internet regulated by DPI and technical controls to one dominated by mobile applications and legal regulations on companies, our ability to argue for policy change from an accurate factual basis is critical for advocacy and our continued right to expression. This session will arm you with an updated set of facts for your discussions in the coming year.


  • Will Scott
    Web Hacker. I am a phd from the networks lab at the University of Washington. I've also spent time over the last three years teaching computer science in pyongyang. My research centers on how to make a more resilient web, through working with in-browser peer-to-peer and caching, and applying operating systems lessons to web frameworks. I've been a ski instructor, rode the transsiberian railroad to CCC, speak some chinese, and enjoy playing with fire.
  • Philipp Winter
    I work on computer networks and security. I seek to build usable, secure, and privacy-preserving services.


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