Welcome to Censored Planet Observatory’s documentation!

Censored Planet is a longitudinal censorship measurement platform that collects remote measurement measurements in more than 200 countries. Censored Planet was launched in August 2018, and has since then collected more than 60 billion measurement data points. Censored Planet measures network interference on the TCP/IP, DNS, and HTTP(S) protocols, using remote measurement techniques Augur, Satellite, and Hyperquack respectively. Every week, Censored Planet collects reachability data about 2000 popular and sensitive websites from more than 95,000 vantage points around the world. An academic paper about Censored Planet can be found here.

Censored Planet’s measurement data has been crucial in identifying and monitoring several important censorship and network interference events. In 2019, Censored Planet data was used to study the large-scale HTTPS interception that occurred in Kazakhstan, and was instrumental in driving changes in major web browsers that blocked the interception attack. Censored Planet data has been used to study Russia’s decentralized censorship mechanism, and the throttling attack they performed on Twitter. Censored Planet has also been used to identify the deployment of network censorship devices, and track the blocking of COVID-19 related websites around the world.

Censored Planet data is available to the public through the Censored Planet website: data.censoredplanet.org/raw. The Censored Planet raw data website contains archived compressed data files. Each filename contains corresponding measurement technique name and the ISO Alpha-2 country code.

Figure - Raw data files on the Censored Planet website

Figure - Raw data files on the Censored Planet website

Each scan contains a test of all 2,000 websites tested by Censored Planet with a set of vantage points across different countries. The files can be downloaded, extracted and analyzed. The data formats change based on the version of the measurement technique. The data formats and tips for analyzing the data for each of the published data files and versions are available below. For more information about using the data, please refer to the Censored Planet Analysis Github page, or email Censored Planet at censoredplanet@umich.edu.

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