The Open Internet Project investigates whether often used applications such as VOIP, Whatsapp, Youtube, Bittorrent and Spotify are being blocked or obstructed by internet providers. It does so with the participation of the general public, and it aims to start a public discussion on any blocks it finds.
This is how it works
Open Internet uses an app which is meant to be distributed amongst a national community of smart phone users. Pressing the start button executes a preset number of port tests, and tests on the integrity of packet transport. The back end stores the results of each testing session in a database which grows with each user and each test. The database can typically answer questions like
- The number of (un)successful tests per isp per protocol per testtype, in other words, which isp is blocking what application and what blocking tactic is being used.
- The number of invalid tests per user.
- The changing behaviour of isp’s over time
Email addresses are collected to get feedback from the public.
New tests on different protocols and ports can be implemented through a simple interface, and are retrieved by the app at the start of a new testing session.
The Open Internet Project was started by the Dutch and Bangla Desh ISOC chapters in June 2012. The first edition of the app appeared in November 2012 and has been downloaded almost 1,000 times, generating 7,000 tests of which 10% is now under investigation (1st of June 2013). The Project received an ISOC Community Grant in 2012 and has been in the Dutch national press a number of times. See open.internet.nl for everybody involved from both chapters.
Our special thanks goes to:
- Werkgroep Internet Transparency van Internet Society Nederland
- Universiteit van Amsterdam
- Universiteit van Dhaka (Bangladesh)