Internet Health: Monitoring and Visualizing Data

As worries about cybersecurity and cyberwarfare grow, takedown notices increase, and Internet filtering—by not only governments but also ISPs and other private companies—rises, a number of organizations are working to collect and analyze data related to online activity, network infrastructure and access, and Internet content controls around the world. The Berkman Center held a workshop in Cambridge, MA on September 25, 2012 to foster a dialogue through which these organizations could learn about their peers’ latest developments, successes, and techniques, and to provide an environment conducive for creative discussion and greater cooperation.

Please find the introduction from the workshop notes below; the full document is available for download at Internet Health: Monitoring and Visualizing Data (PDF)

Introduction

As worries about cybersecurity and cyberwarfare grow, takedown notices increase, and Internet filtering—by not only governments but also ISPs and other private companies—rises, a number of organizations are working to collect and analyze data related to online activity, network infrastructure and access, and Internet content controls around the world.

The Internet Health Organization (IHO) is a nascent effort to bring together this diverse array of individuals and organizations who support and contribute to our knowledge of Internet freedom and Internet health, a measure encompassing not only the status of information controls but also of access, infrastructure, and online activity. Drawing on the public health model, epitomized by the World Health Organization (WHO), IHO aims to provide a forum for identifying zones of common interest and opportunities for collaboration in the areas of data collection and data standards. Moreover, just as the WHO advocates for improvements in global health practices, the IHO can leverage the collective influence of participants to improve Internet health and influence public policy. IHO’s end goals are to enable a broader use of existing resources, reduce duplication of efforts, and provide useful data and analysis for policymakers, regulators, and corporate stakeholders, while maintaining a diverse ecosystem of data sources and aggregators.

Closely related, the Internet Monitor is a research project to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world. The US State Department-funded project will compile and curate data from multiple sources, including primary data collected by the Berkman Center and our partners, as well as relevant secondary data. The Internet Monitor will create a freely available online fact base that will give policy makers, digital activists, and user communities an authoritative, independent, and multi-faceted set of quantitative data on the state of the global Internet. The project will also produce annual reports that compile this information and provide expert analysis on the state of the global Internet.

The IHO and Internet Monitor held a joint workshop in Cambridge, MA on September 25, 2012. The goals of this workshop were to foster a dialogue through which these organizations could learn about their peers’ latest developments, successes, and techniques, and to provide an environment conducive for creative discussion and greater cooperation.

Last updated

December 19, 2012