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ooni-probe - Open Observatory of Network Interference

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore; TIME magazine (6 December 1993)

OONI, the Open Observatory of Network Interference, is a global observation network which aims is to collect high quality data using open methodologies, using Free and Open Source Software (FL/OSS) to share observations and data about the various types, methods, and amounts of network tampering in the world.

Let's get started with this already!

To run OONI-probe without having to install it you must tell python that it can import modules from the root of ooni-probe, as well as initialize the included submodules.

From the root directory of the repo (.../ooni-probe/), initialize the submodules by doing:

$ git submodule init && git submodule update

Next, you will need to tell Python that OONI is part of its path:


Then to see what tests are available:

$ cd ooni
$ python

If you see some errors see INSTALL to install the missing dependencies.

To list the help for a specific test:

$ python httpt --help

Virtualenv way (Recommended)

virtualenv2 ENV/
source ENV/bin/activate
pip install twisted Scapy pyyaml

The script of pyOpenSSL has some issues and it is therefore recommended to install it system wide with:

sudo pip install pyOpenSSL

Note: be sure to do this over a secure network since pip does not by default use SSL...

To install the most up to date scapy version (requires mercurial):

pip install hg+

More details

With the belief that unfettered access to information is a intrinsic human right, OONI seeks to observe levels of surveillance, censorship, and network discrimination in order for people worldwide to have a clearer understanding of the ways in which their access to information is filtered.

The end goal of OONI is to collect data which can show an accurate topology of network interference and censorship. Through this topology, it will be possible to see what the internet looks like from nearly any location, including what sites are censored, or have been tampered with, and by whom. We're calling it filternet.

OONI uses open methodologies and the data will be provided in raw format to allow any researcher to indipendently draw their conclusions from the results OONI tests.

There are currently projects aimed at measuring censorship in one way or another but they either use non open methodologies or their tools are not open sources. OONI aims at filling up this gap by creating the first open source framework for developing network tests and collecting data on censorship.

OONI revolves around three major concepts: Assets, Tests and Reports.


Assets are the inputs used inside Tests to detect censorship events. These can be URL lists, keywords, ip addresses, packets or any kind of set of data. In the python specific implementation this is represented as a python iterable object. This means that the Testing framework will be able to iterate through every element in the Asset.


This is the core of OONI. These are the actual tests that will be run using as input (if an input is required) the Assets. Tests can be summarized as an experiment and a control. The control represents the expected result and the experiment is the network operation being performed on the live network. If the experiment does not match up with the control then a censorship event had occured.

OONI probe provides some useful functionality to the application developer that may be useful when developing censorship detection tests. For example it is possible to make a request over the Tor network easily or use a fast and flexible non-blocking HTTP client implementation.


This is the data that is collected from the test. OONI probe provides a flexible means of storing results and uploading this data to a remote server or a flat file.

The Test developer should include in the report as much data as possible and can contain raw packet dumps as well as structured synthetic results.

In future on top of ooni-probe Reports it will be possible to develop flexible post-processing tools to allow data-visualization guru's to properly visualize and contextualize the resulting data.

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