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Measuring the Internet

Fundamentally, the Internet relies on independent networks connecting to one another and, all together, these form the global Internet. This is the heart of the Internet way of networking; however, in part because of its distributed nature, measuring any aspect of the Internet on a global scale is difficult. Expert researchers know where to find specialist data sources and analysis but more casually interested observers, such as policymakers or journalists, have no reliable place to find answers to questions about the current state of the Internet. In short, there is no single site or tool that brings together the multiple measures required to understand the Internet’s evolution and health.

What Will This Project Address?

This project addresses the need to have a single, easily identifiable place to go to find up-to-date data about trends that are shaping the Internet’s infrastructure and the health of the Internet way of networking itself. The project will be based on consuming and processing third-party measurement data, and will use that data to generate and present easy-to-find and -understand information. A Web-based dashboard will present these trends and contextualize indicators within an overall narrative of Internet evolution and promotion of the Internet way of networking. The information will be tailored to help a variety of stakeholders—including policymakers, researchers, and journalists—better understand the growth and evolution of the Internet along a variety of dimensions.

The goal is to make available information that can be used when dealing with questions around issues such as new technology deployment and connectivity, and reliability issues in regions around the world. In addition, the information collected and organized by this project will help inform other Internet Society projects, such as Community Networks.

Internet Shutdowns

Internet shutdowns is another initial use case for this project. To establish the Internet Society as a key source for information about the impact of Internet shutdowns and disruptions through data, information, and insight, we plan to deliver a dashboard that will identify, track, and analyze such events. This will bring transparency to shutdowns through measurement, analysis, and reporting, and highlight the impacts both locally and to the broader Internet. This will allow us to illustrate how Internet shutdowns are a threat to the Internet way of networking, and to support a shared goal to reduce the number of Internet shutdowns.

Our Work in 2020

Over the next year, this project will:

  • Establish a community of interest around collecting and contributing data to support collaborative Internet measurement results.
  • Driven by the defined use cases, an initial set of metrics, associated measurement methodologies, data sources, and partners will be developed.
  • Based on the community and data, an initial Web-based dashboard will be developed and launched for public consumption.
  • A coordinated communications campaign will be undertaken to promote and highlight the dashboard, (including developing data-driven stories that promote the understanding of the Internet model).

The long-term goal is to establish the Web-based dashboard as primary source for understanding the evolution of the Internet and the health of the Internet way of networking.

Measuring the Internet News

You Asked and We Listened: New Features in the MANRS Observatory
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Measuring the Internet 4 February 2020

You Asked and We Listened: New Features in the MANRS Observatory

Collaboration and shared responsibility are two pillars of the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative, which we...

Deep Dive: Scoring ISPs and Hosts on Privacy and Security
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Measuring the Internet 21 January 2020

Deep Dive: Scoring ISPs and Hosts on Privacy and Security

In April 2019 the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released its 10th Annual Online Trust Audit & Honor...

Deep Dive: U.S. Federal Government’s Security and Privacy Practices
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Measuring the Internet 14 January 2020

Deep Dive: U.S. Federal Government’s Security and Privacy Practices

In April 2019, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance released its 10th Annual Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll....

From Content Blocking to National Shutdowns: Understanding Internet Disruptions
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Measuring the Internet 18 December 2019

From Content Blocking to National Shutdowns: Understanding Internet Disruptions

In March 2019, in a move described in one news report as a “government-imposed Internet shutdown,” the president of...

Online Trust Audit for 2020 Presidential Campaigns Update
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Measuring the Internet 4 December 2019

Online Trust Audit for 2020 Presidential Campaigns Update

On 7 October 2019, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released the Online Trust Audit for 2020 U.S....

Announcing the 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit
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Measuring the Internet 8 October 2019

Announcing the 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit

Today, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance released a new report, the “2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit,” analyzing the...

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