Measuring the impact of Internet Censorship

September 1, 2015
11:00 am - noon
Halligan 209
Speaker: Zartash Uzmi, LUMS, Pakistan
Host: Fahad Dogar


Note that the talk is in Halligan 209 at 11am

Internet censorship artificially changes the dynamics of resource production and consumption, impacting stakeholders that include end users, service providers, and content providers. This talk will provide a measurement analysis of this impact in the context of two large-scale censorship events in Pakistan: blocking of pornographic content in 2011 and of YouTube in 2012.

Using customer traffic collected at a midsize ISP before and after the censorship events, we: a) quantify the demand for blocked content, b) illuminate challenges encountered by the ISP in implementing the censorship policies, c) investigate changes in user behavior (e.g., with respect to circumvention) after censorship, and d) assess benefits extracted by competing content providers of blocked content.


Zartash is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Science and Engineering at LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from UET, Taxila and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Previously, he has held positions at Nokia research center, Bell Laboratories, and Max Planck Institute for Software Systems. His recent research interests include Data Center Networks and Internet Censorship.