probe distribution

Existing censorship measurement platforms frequently suffer from poor adoption, insufficient geographic coverage, and scalability problems. In order to overcome these issues, this project builds on top of the already existing RIPE Atlas platform. Atlas already comes with good geographic coverage (albeit biased toward the U.S. and Europe as can be seen in the image to the right) and is actively developed.

To demonstrate its practicality, we used Atlas to investigate blocking events in Turkey and Russia. Our measurements uncovered evidence of cooperation between a well-known blogging platform and government authorities for purposes of blocking hosted content.


The outcome of our research project was published in the FOCI'14 workshop. You can download the research paper by clicking on the image to the right.

Our code, atlas_tools, is freely available under the GPLv3 license. It is written in pure Python. You can get a copy of atlas_tools from GitHub:

git clone
We are happy to extend our code. Please feel free to send us patches!

If you want to cite our paper, please use the following BibTeX record:

    author = {Collin Anderson and Philipp Winter and Roya},
    title = {{Global Censorship Detection over the RIPE Atlas Network}},
    booktitle = {Free and Open Communications on the Internet},
    publisher = {USENIX},
    year = {2014},
    url = {},

If you have any questions, suggestions, or rants, please contact Collin, Philipp, or Roya.

Last updated: 2014-07-26