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Showing posts from December, 2016

Psiphon Is 10 Years Old!

This month Psiphon turns 10 years old ! We would like to thank you for your support, as we look forward keeping the Internet open for many more years! Psiphon began at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab as a ‘network of trust’ amongst people who knew each other. The first version of the software allowed a person’s computer in a non-censored country to act as a server for a friend in a censored region, and helped to prove that there was a real need for the open Internet. Psiphon 2 was developed soon after, no longer requiring people in censored regions to know people in an uncensored country. Psiphon runs servers, known as Psiphon nodes, which act as proxies for users in censored regions, and can be accessed via a simple URL. In 2008, Psiphon won the Netxplorateur Grand Prix 2008. The panelists called Psiphon “the world’s most original, significant and exemplary Net and Digital Initiative.” The following year, Psiphon was recognized with The Economist Best New Media Award by I

Gambia's Election Shutdown

Access Now recently reported that there have been over 50 Internet shutdowns around the world in 2016 , compared to 15 known shutdowns the previous year. Many of these shutdowns have taken place in Africa - as seen in a recent Psiphon blog piece  documenting a shutdown and social media blocking event in Gabon. Last week, another shutdown happened in Gambia. Just after 9pm local time on November 30th 2016, we received a message from our friend Moses Karanja , a researcher at the research fellow at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) in Kenya. Moses asked if we were able to verify reports he had seen on social media, saying that the Internet was unavailable in Gambia. From our network monitoring, we could see that there had been a total drop-off in Psiphon traffic at just after 8pm local time. To verify this, we contacted Akamai’s State of the Internet team, to see if they had also seen a drop in traffic. Within a few minutes, they conf

Global Citizen #ShowupVote and the United States Election

Ahead of the 2016 United States elections, Global Citizen launched its “ Show Up and Vote”  campaign to encourage young Americans to vote. In addition to an online campaign, represented by  the hashtag #ShowupVote, Global Citizen hosted a series of events and concerts with high-profile artists.  Psiphon #ShowupVote Promotion During Elections In the week ahead of the election, Psiphon promoted the #ShowupVote campaign to our US audience, showing a selection of images and a brief paragraph explaining the importance of the project. In the final two days ahead of the election, the promotion was changed to ensure maximum visibility of the #ShowupVote content. As election day ended, Psiphon followed this up by taking users to Global Citizen’s live coverage, giving them a chance to follow the results as they came in. Overall, Global Citizen’s content was seen 1.5 million times in the US. Worldwide Interest in U.S. Elections In highly censored regions, dur