Why did the Internet Society build the Insight’s platform?

The global Internet is comprised of independent networks that connect to one another. Its distributed nature makes measuring any aspect of the Internet on a global scale difficult. There are many people, projects and organizations that are collecting data on various facets of the Internet, but there’s no single site that provides a curated set of insights. So, to help everyone gain deeper, data-driven insight into the Internet, we’re building the Insights platform as a way to collate some of the key information about the health, availability and evolution of the Internet. Find out more here

Where does the Internet Society get the data that is presented on the Insights platform?

The majority of our data comes from several trusted third-party organizations. Please see the Data Partners section for more information on the data curated by the Insights platform and the organizations that collect it. In addition to this third-party data, we perform some measurements ourselves, which enables us to present data on technology adoption trends on the web (Topsites measurements for IPv6, TLS1.3, HTTPS).

How does the Insights platform define Internet shutdowns?

We use AccessNow’s definition of Internet shutdowns to guide our work:

“An Internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of Internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information.”  

For the purposes of the Insights platform, regional and national scale disruptions to Internet connectivity are included in this definition, as well as application-level blocking and content blocking, where Internet connectivity remains available but access to certain Web sites or applications is limited.

I believe an Internet shutdown occurred in [place] on [date]. Why isn’t it included in your list of Internet shutdown events?

We make every effort to ensure that the data compiled on Internet shutdowns is as complete as possible. However, given the challenges associated with detecting and confirming the occurrence of Internet shutdowns, some events may be missed. For shutdown events that you believe should be included on Insights, please contact us at [email protected], and include the following information: 

  • The impacted area/region
  • Start and end date/time
  • Impacted services (if applicable)
  • Links to any supporting documentation (published articles, government statements, measurement graphs, etc.)

We will review all submissions, but cannot guarantee that they will be included in the Insights database.

Where can I find more information about Internet Shutdowns?

More information on Internet Shutdowns can be found here. On this page you can find:

The Internet Society has also published a white paper that provides an overview of content blocking techniques.

There are several other organizations and initiatives that focus on Internet shutdowns: 

  • AccessNow and the #KeepItOn coalition track the occurrence and impact of Internet shutdown events around the world.
  • The OONI Explorer tool is an open data resource on Internet censorship and content blocking around the world.

How does Insights define the top 1000 websites? 

Insights uses the standard Tranco top site list which combines rankings from multiple sources and averages them over a 30-day period. Internet measurements often use rankings of popular websites. However, research has shown that many of these ranking lists disagree on which domains are most popular, can change significantly on a daily basis and can be manipulated by malicious actors. Tranco is a new ranking that improves upon the shortcomings identified in previously used top site lists. 

What is IPv6 and where can I find more information about it?

IPv6 is the latest version of the fundamental technology (Internet Protocol) that powers the Internet. The previous version, IPv4, is still in operation on many networks around the world but it can only support an Internet of a few billion devices. By contrast, IPv6 can support an Internet of billions of billions of devices and can provide enough address space to meet the needs of the growing Internet for decades to come. Simply put, the Internet has outgrown its original design and IPv6 is the solution. You can find out more about IPv6 and how it will enable the expansion of the Internet well into the future here

What are TLS and TLS 1.3 and where can I find more information about them?

Transport Layer Security (TLS ) encrypts data sent over the Internet to ensure that eavesdroppers are unable to see what you transmit. This is particularly useful for private and sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal correspondence. You can find out more about TLS here.

TLS 1.3 is the newest version of the TLS cryptographic protocol designed to protect Internet communications. TLS 1.3 was defined in an IETF RFC in August 2018. TLS 1.3 updates the most important security protocol on the Internet, delivering superior privacy, security, and performance. You can find out more about TLS 1.3 here

What is the DNS and where can I find more information about it?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. The DNS translates easy-to-remember domain names (internetsociety.org) to the numerical IP addresses (2001:41c8:20::b31a) needed for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide. Find out more information about DNS here

What is DNSSEC and where can I find more information about it?

Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a suite of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications for securing certain kinds of information provided by the Domain Name System (DNS) as used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. It is a set of extensions to DNS which provide, to DNS clients (resolvers), origin authentication of DNS data, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity, but not availability or confidentiality. Find out more about DNSSEC here.

What is HTTPS and HTTP/3 and where can I find more information about them?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), is an application protocol that serves as the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that web users can easily access.

HTTP/3 is the latest revision of HTTP. HTTP/3 uses the new QUIC transport protocol to improve the security and performance of web communication and to reduce the latency of connection establishment. HTTP/3 builds on the header compression and server push developments of HTTP/2.

HTTPS is a security-focused extension of HTTP. The communication protocol is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS). HTTPS protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping on HTTP communications. It also protects against data being tampered with while in transit.

What is QUIC and where can I find more information about it?

QUIC is a general-purpose transport layer protocol which was first implemented, and deployed by Google in 2012. It was announced publicly in 2013 as experimentation broadened. Although still working its way through the standardization process at the IETF, QUIC is already widely in use on the Internet. Find out more here.

I/My organization has data/is conducting measurements that might be a good fit for Insights. Who can I talk to about it?

Please contact the Insights team at [email protected] to discuss your data/measurements.

Can I write a guest blog post?

We actively encourage the community to submit ideas for blog posts that use the data presented on the Insights platform to tell data-driven stories about the health, availability and evolution of the Internet. We also encourage blog posts about any of the focus areas and technologies that are presented on the platform, such as Internet Shutdowns, IPv6, TLS 1.3, DNSSEC etc. Please get in touch with us at insights @isoc.org for more information.

Can I republish an Insights blog post on my own blog/website?

Yes, as long as it is attributed to the correct author and contains a link back to the original post on the Insights platform. Please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more information.

Can I share the data/charts published on Insights on social media platforms or on my own website?

Yes. Unless otherwise indicated, the text, images and charts on this site are yours to use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We ask that you link back to the Insights website directly to the page on which you found the original content. If sharing on Twitter, please tag our Twitter handle, @ISOC_Insights, in your tweets.

Can I use the data/charts published on Insights in my research or personal projects?

Yes. Unless otherwise indicated, the text, images and charts on this site are yours to use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We ask that you link back to the Insights website directly to the page on which you found the original content.

Will you be adding other focus areas or data to Insights in the future? 

Yes. While the Insights platform currently focuses on Internet Shutdowns and Enabling Technologies, we are working on adding other focus areas, including Internet Resilience and the Internet Way of Networking (IWN

Who can I contact for more information about Insights?

Please sign up to our mailing list to receive updates about the Insights platform. You can also get in touch with us via email to [email protected] or @isoc_insights on Twitter.