In the US, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have created a tool called Encore, to monitor the accessibility of web pages around the world, determine what's being blocked, and identify ways to get around restricted access.
The tool, which has been developed by PhD candidate Sam Burnett and his adviser Professor Nick Feamster, works by collecting information about a user's web access and censorship of various sites across other countries.
Currently, Encore gathers data from a list of sites compiled by Herdict, a user-driven platform designed to identify web blockages such as denials of service, censorship and other filtering. But where Herdict relies on anecdotal evidence, Encore automates the measurements. Burnett and Feamster hope to provide a global database of information generated through this study, that will be available to help paint a clearer picture related to the 'health of the Internet'.
Feamster comments: 'People who work on Internet freedom - ranging from policymakers to the developers of tools for improving access to information - need accurate information about what is inaccessible and when it becomes blocked. Encore is the first tool that makes it possible to provide this kind of information continuously, on a global scale.'
Web site: www.cc.gatech.edu .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.