Whiskey, Weed, and Wukan on the World Wide Web: On Measuring Censors' Resources and Motivations


Nicholas Aase and Jedidiah R. Crandall, University of New Mexico; Alvaro Diaz, Universidad de Granada, Spain; Jeffrey Knockel, University of New Mexico; Jorge Ocana Molinero, Universidad de Granada, Spain; Jared Saia, University of New Mexico; Dan Wallach, Rice University; Tao Zhu, Independent Researcher


The ability to compare two instances of Internet censorship is important because it is the basis for stating what is or is not justified in terms of, for example, international law or human rights. However these comparisons are challenging, even when comparing two instances of the same kind of censorship within the same country.

In this position paper, we use examples of Internet censorship in three different contexts to illustrate the importance of the elements of motivation, resources, and time in Internet censorship. We argue that, while all three of these elements are challenging to measure and analyze, Internet censorship measurement and analysis is incomplete without all three.

The contexts we draw examples from are: public wireless networks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; microblogging in China; and, chat programs in China.

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@inproceedings {179501,
title = {Whiskey, Weed, and Wukan on the World Wide Web: On Measuring Censors{\textquoteright} Resources and Motivations},
booktitle = {2nd {USENIX} Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet ({FOCI} 12)},
year = {2012},
address = {Bellevue, WA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/foci12/workshop-program/presentation/Aase},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = aug,