Protests in Yangon, Myanmar, 17 February 2021. Photo: Irrawaddy, twitter

Free internet access was the first casualty of the coup. Here we collate our remote measurements on how it was lost.

Over the past three weeks, political pressure has been progressively building as Myanmar’s military attempts to stamp out uprisings against the coup. Internet suppression tactics, including nightly communications blackouts, have become a key angle of coercion against a nation fighting to retain their democratic freedoms.

At the Monash IP Observatory, we have been publishing updates on the loss of internet access as the crisis unfolds. …

We bring our hour-by-hour granular internet connectivity and latency data to the dissection table. Here’s what we found.

“404 Page not found”, Minsk, Belarus, AUG 2020. Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

On September 17, the US State Department issued a joint statement with 28 other countries condemning the internet shutdowns in Belarus. The Belarusian government has been suspected of interfering with internet connectivity in response to ongoing anti-government protests surrounding the 2020 Presidential Election, and contested re-election of incumbent Alexander Lukashenko.

Beginning on election day, August 9, and continuing for at least 3 days afterwards, social media websites and foreign news sources became inaccessible in what Belarusian authorities claimed was a massive cyber-attack. …

Yes. The Internet. We train our global internet measurement platform on the US and discover the swing states most at risk.

In just over two weeks, the United States faces what could be the most consequential election in US history. The election comes at the end of a tumultuous and harrowing 2020 for America, which has tragically seen over 200,000 deaths at the hands of COVID-19, as well as country-wide protests over police brutality amassing more than 15 million Americans since May.

At the heart of any election, and 2020 moreso than any, access to information is absolutely crucial to ensure that citizens make properly informed choices. For a growing number of Americans, the internet is fast becoming their preferred means…

Our measurements show that a number of counties are effectively offline after Laura swept through.

Hurricane Laura is considered one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history, already leaving a path of destruction and 6 dead in affected areas in Louisiana and Texas. The storm reached wind gusts of up to 150 mph and has left over 850,000 people without electricity.

Functioning Internet and Telecommunications (ICT) infrastructure is essential during times of disaster but this type of infrastructure is also among the first to be impacted by natural disasters.

To provide policy-makers and first responders with (close-to) real-time information on ICT depravation and outages, the Monash IP-Observatory from SoDa Laboratories at the Monash Business…

It’s not just the Economy which takes a hit under COVID-19 lockdowns in Africa. Access to critical information and services on the Internet can also be a casualty.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 19, 2020. A busy street in the Mont Ngafula district of the capital. Even though much of Kinshasa had been put on lockdown that day, streets were often still crowded. People continue trying to make a living; much of the population survives on less than $2 per day. [Image and caption © Justin Makangara for Fondation Carmignac]

Sub-Saharan African countries face unique challenges around the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, countries in this region that suffer from economic inequality and poor governance have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 many countries have adopted lockdown-style policies of varying levels of severity. As people increasingly rely on the internet for remote working and entertainment needs, demand for internet services can increase dramatically. In many cases, this also translates to measurable increases in internet pressure. By observing patterns and fluctuations in internet pressure, we can gain insights into the…

Thousands marched the streets of the United States through May and June 2020. But did the internet notice?

Hundreds of thousands of people globally have marched in protests against police brutality and systemic racism, spurred by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on the 25th of May. In the USA, over 450 protests have flared up across every state since the first demonstration in Minneapolis on the 26th of May.

The Black Lives Matter movement has since taken social media by storm, enabling the rapid sharing and accessing of information via these platforms. One social media trend, the controversial #BlackoutTuesday, saw over 23.3 million posts featuring plain black squares on the 2nd of June. …

When it comes to state-backed Internet shut-downs, Iran and Iraq have got game, so we’re publishing insights from millions of observations.

Photo by hosein charbaghi on Unsplash

Iran is gripped by another wave of protests. After three days of denial its government admitted shooting down the Ukrainian passenger plane UIA 752, killing all 176 passengers and crew.

The missile that brought down the plane on the 8th of January was launched hours after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops. …

Over 7.4 million remote observations of Iran’s internet don’t lie. Here we deep-dive through the moment the lights went out.

Source: AlJazeera

Last Friday, to the surprise of everyone, the Iranian government announced a 50% increase in gasoline prices and swiftly imposed a strict rationing system.

Amidst an already dire economic situation in Iran with an unemployment rate of 14% and an eye-watering inflation rate rate of around 40% ,
the regime’s announcement almost immediately sparked widespread civil unrest.

Information about the ongoing unrest quickly spread through social media and Iranians used navigation apps to coordinate road blocks with their cars (“car…

With the first major street protests against a draft extradition bill on June 9, protests and civic action in Hong Kong have continued for over a month. During this time, the Monash University IP-Observatory has been observing the availability and latency of the internet in 17 districts of Hong Kong, collecting over 5 million observations. Last night, we started pushing our live observations to our public dashboard for all the world to see.

Studio Incendo [CC BY 2.0 (]

Will China #KeepItOn?

Since June 9, the world has watched as Hong Kong citizens turn out in their millions on the streets to protest for their rights and freedoms on the streets.

By now, images of the protesters clutching their smart-phones are synonymous with the movement: taking live footage, receiving the latest updates on police movements and the authority’s statements, sending messages to fellow protests, or crucially, receiving instructions from the intentionally anarchic mobilisation forums and chat rooms for the timing and location of the next protest event.

Now, more than ever, the Internet is playing a commanding role in the political future…

Just before 4pm, 22 Jul 2019, the lights went out across Venezuela. That much the world knows. But getting accurate information on exactly where and when the outage hit, and what happened next is non trivial in Maduro’s Land of Darkness. Here, we document, for the public record, the spatio-temporal pattern of the electricity outage and subsequent recovery as observed by the Monash University Global IP Observatory.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Darkness Again in Venezuela

Sadly, here we are again.

Back in March, our team at the Monash University IP Observatory, started providing near real-time observations of Venezuela’s IP (internet protocol addressing) space. With rising tensions, we were concerned that the incumbent regime may be tempted to tamper with the nation’s internet infrastructure, as has been documented time and again for their blocking of various websites at certain, strategic times.

What we didn’t know then was that we would be one of several international organisations who would bear witness to the tragic, nation-wide electricity crisis that engulfed the country from around 5pm, 7 March 2019…

The Monash IP Observatory

Internet insights for social good from our global observational and analysis platform, Monash University, Australia. @IP_Observatory

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