14:00:06 <hellais> #startmeeting OONI Community Meeting 2021-08-31
14:00:06 <MeetBot> Meeting started Tue Aug 31 14:00:06 2021 UTC.  The chair is hellais. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot.
14:00:06 <MeetBot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #help #info #idea #link #topic.
14:00:19 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> <here> Hello everyone! Welcome to the *August 2021 OONI Community Meeting* :ooni::sparkles:
14:00:37 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Welcome @anastasiya! :)
14:00:49 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And welcome everyone! How are you doing?
14:01:10 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> My name's Maria and I work with OONI :)
14:01:20 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> As you join, please feel encouraged to introduce yourselves :)
14:01:32 <slacktopus> <gus934> Hi all! This is Gus from the Tor Project. o/
14:01:59 <slacktopus> <cohosh> Hi! I'm Cecylia at Tor Project :)
14:02:04 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Welcome @gus934! :)
14:02:09 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Hi, this is Igor from Netalitica - we update the database that network probes use to uncover internet censorship
14:02:22 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> Great to be here! I am Anastasiya from Access Now
14:02:26 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Welcome @cohosh and @ivalentovitch! :)
14:02:27 <slacktopus> <sbs> Hello! I am Simone and I work at OONI!
14:02:52 <slacktopus> <db1984> Hi! I am Davide following OONI since a while now!
14:03:02 <slacktopus> <xhdix> Hi, I'm xhdix from Earth! :D
14:03:12 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Welcome @db1984 and @xhdix! :)
14:03:40 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So happy to see you all today! Thanks so much for joining us :)
14:04:04 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> As a reminder, you can contribute to the agenda of today's meeting by adding a topic of your choice to this pad: https://pad.riseup.net/p/ooni-community-meeting-keep
14:04:14 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And it looks like we already have 2 topics, so we can get started!
14:04:28 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> #topic 1. Tor usage in Turkmenistan is decreasing and we don't have any OONI tests. Can we do a call for TM users to install OONI and help to identify what's up? (gus)
14:05:08 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ @gus934 thanks for pointing this out! Is there anything you'd like to add?
14:05:39 <slacktopus> <gus934> We're tracking this issue here https://gitlab.torproject.org/tpo/community/support/-/issues/40030 and we would like to ask help from OONI to run tests in TM.
14:06:56 <slacktopus> <gus934> @agrabeli do you have a step by step how to run an ooni test that i could copy and share with some contacts in TM?
14:07:07 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @gus934 thanks for sharing the ticket! Unfortunately (as I gather you already know) it seems we don't have any recent measurements from Turkmenistan. However, we'll be sure to tweet about this and reach out to community members.
14:07:48 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @gus934 would this be useful: https://ooni.org/support/ooni-probe-mobile#running-ooni-probe-mobile ?
14:07:59 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> otherwise I can share shorter instructions with you that you can share
14:08:05 <slacktopus> <olmstead> Hey all sorry to be late, Kenny from ISOC, I work on shutdowns and am thrilled to be working with OONI and on my first Slack open meeting (cool idea i’m totally going to steal for ISOC)
14:08:35 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Welcome @olmstead, thank you for joining us! :)
14:08:50 <slacktopus> <federico> Welcome, everybody!
14:09:01 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @anastasiya do you (or others at Access Now) perhaps have contacts in Turkmenistan?
14:09:52 <slacktopus> <gus934> I think this resource is useful. I will use them.
14:10:03 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> Well, let me check. Nobody comes to mind immediately, actually
14:10:08 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (I unfortunately don't know anyone in Turkmenistan)
14:10:56 <slacktopus> <olmstead> I don’t either but i’ll ask around ISOC given our chapter members (we don’t have one in Turkemistan sadly) and international staff someone must
14:11:29 <slacktopus> <gus934> I was reaching out on twitter and it seems to work. But some of these new contacts aren't technical experts, so I need to explain everything step by step. And it takes a lot of time.
14:11:44 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> yes, I understand...
14:12:13 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Generally speaking though, once they have installed the OONI Probe mobile app, they just need to tap the main "Run" button (in the dashboard) to run the Tor test (along with all other tests)
14:12:21 <slacktopus> <hellais> FWIW the last measurements from Turkmenistan are dated July 11th 2021 (https://explorer.ooni.org/measurement/20210711T194449Z_webconnectivity_TM_51495_n1_rIc96XlB1bquVIb8?input=https%3A%2F%2Ftor.eff.org%2F), so there are some users in there, just not running measurements frequently.
14:13:50 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @gus934 I'll put out a tweet with instructions (from the OONI account), and see if we're able to get in touch with anyone in Turkmenistan. If you'd like me to share brief instructions with you (beyond the user guide shared above), please let me know. :)
14:14:26 <slacktopus> <gus934> Awesome! Thank you!!
14:14:44 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> And warm thanks to @anastasiya & @olmstead! <3
14:14:51 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> It seems that Access Now has not reached out anyone in Turkmenistan in a while :( Of course, I can ask our trusted partners in a region to connect us, if this can help
14:14:53 <slacktopus> <gus934> I will share your tweet with these contacts.
14:15:00 <slacktopus> <cohosh> Yes, thank you all!
14:15:56 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Is there anything else you'd like to discuss in relation to this first topic?
14:17:07 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (Fingers crossed that they're not blocking Tor in Turkmenistan :crossed_fingers:)
14:17:28 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I guess we can proceed to the next topic
14:17:43 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> #topic 2. [Access Now] Russia's legislative elections coming up September 17-19.  - The government has been using platforms throttling, bots, applying pressure to Google and Apple to block content and apps belonging to the civil society and opposition.  - Localized mobile and platform specific shutdowns are likely. Protests, arrests, and government violence also expected.  - Access Now has been doing some private advocacy and
14:17:43 <slacktopus> is also preparing public open letters to major platforms and telcos, will be sending for sign ons soon.  - Need help monitoring shutdowns.  - Anastasiya translating OONI materials into Russian - Hashtag #Выборы2021 (#Elections2021)
14:18:39 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> Well, this all is pretty much self-explanatory :)
14:19:16 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> To add a bit
14:19:35 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> Roskomnadzor has demanded recently to remove the Navalny’s app with a service of “Smart Voting” from Google play and Apple Store as this app was declared extremist by russian authorities. Apparently they did not comply, but Apple has blocked the upgrade functions to the app instead as a matter of compromise. Access Now has reacted and reached out Apple that seems to return all upgrading possibilities right now.
14:20:00 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> But all this only increases our expectations of possible localized mobile and platform specific shutdowns
14:20:26 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> So we would appreciate the help from OONI community to monitor this
14:21:47 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> As I also translate some materials into Russian, please let me know if smth, in your point of view, from OONI website is also needed to be localized asap for the elections
14:22:43 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @anastasiya thanks a million for the heads-up (and context shared)! And thank you for working on translating OONI materials -- greatly appreciated. :pray:
14:23:20 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @anastasiya do you perhaps have a short OONI guide that you're translating? I previously shared some with Felicia, but I'm not sure if they're useful for this case.
14:23:47 <slacktopus> <db1984> A very small possible discover on the Russian situation: I have identified this podcast, that could be interesting from a journalist currently in the juridical status of "foreign agent", but i guess it's only in Russian:  "Priviet ti Inoagent" of Groysman and Churakova. Maybe it could help spreading the word on some practices currently adopted on censorship.
14:25:16 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> @anastasiya I'd also seek collaboration with Roskomsvoboda on this
14:26:21 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch yeah, great point! They do excellent work monitoring censorship in Russia.
14:26:41 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (Meanwhile, Navalny's website remains blocked in Russia: https://explorer.ooni.org/search?until=2021-09-01&since=2021-08-02&domain=navalny.com&probe_cc=RU :/)
14:27:53 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> I am translating Safety tips ahead of Elections that to my understanding is an internal keepItOn doc shared with partners which is based on OONI materials almost in full
14:28:05 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @anastasiya I'll follow-up with you this week to coordinate on translation of materials. Thanks a million! <3
14:28:57 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> I can send you the link via email if needed, Maria
14:29:18 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Regarding monitoring -> OONI Probe / OONI data may be useful for detecting the *blocking* of websites and applications. If internet connectivity shutdowns occur, one great open data source is IODA: https://ioda.caida.org/ioda/dashboard#view=inspect&entity=country/RU&lastView=overview
14:29:45 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ which we can compare against a number of other datasets, such as Cloudflare Radar, Google traffic data, etc.
14:30:27 <slacktopus> <xhdix> + RIPE Atlas
14:30:52 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> But as for platform censorship (like Apple preventing updates or taking down apps), this is a little bit out of scope for OONI
14:31:01 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Does anyone have thoughts on how this can be investigated?
14:31:15 <slacktopus> <olmstead> not to advertise too much but ISOC combines data from cloudflare, radar, google, OONI, access now, and a few others here https://pulse.internetsociety.org/
14:31:25 <slacktopus> <olmstead> always looking for new partners too :)
14:32:00 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> yes, Pulse is an excellent resource to refer to indeed, and it's really helpful that it combines datasets :heart_eyes:
14:32:48 <slacktopus> <olmstead> On Russia we’ve had the same problem, back when there was talk of Russia cutting off the Internet as an “experiment” we saw nothing from our various sources
14:32:59 <slacktopus> <olmstead> but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and we just moved on
14:35:17 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @olmstead yeah, that's a great point -- confirming internet connectivity shutdowns (particularly when they only affect certain networks or regions) can be challenging sometimes to detect/confirm, as all datasets have their limitations....
14:35:52 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> I guess that's another reason why it's helpful to be able to look at multiple, independent open datasets and to cross-reference them with what people are reporting on the ground
14:37:18 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> That would be great, thank you!
14:37:28 <slacktopus> <olmstead> @agrabeli yep exactly and we generally turn to our chapters for on the ground intel, but we only have 1 chapter in all of Russia and its been inactive for a while
14:38:40 <slacktopus> <olmstead> One avenue we are trying to open is working with the Committee to Protect journalists to expand that intel network, but we are in the very early stages of figuring that out
14:40:02 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> fantastic! CPJ are a great ally
14:40:41 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @anastasiya how do you think the OONI (and broader measurement) community can best support the #KeepItOn campaign leading up to the elections?
14:41:00 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ This is a general question also for everyone
14:44:24 <slacktopus> <db1984> Maybe it's dumb: ask for support of some VPN provider making measurements on their locally based server?
14:45:19 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> (@db1984 that's a great idea!)
14:46:18 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> If I remember correctly, Russia is one of the countries where hundreds of measurements are collected daily on the networks of multiple ISPs. Is there a need to make tailored measurements that are different from the standard ones coming in daily?
14:46:27 <slacktopus> <anastasiya> Well the general call to keep a close eye on the upcoming elections and possible disruptions is always welcomed :)  The idea with VPN providers is awesome!  Me and Felicia will give it a further thinking
14:48:05 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @ivalentovitch that's an excellent question! I guess it depends on whether there are any specific websites worth testing extensively in that period, in which case: • They could be added to the Citizen Lab test lists • Community coordinated testing could be done with OONI Run: https://run.ooni.io/ • We could also add a few of those URLs (if they're in the test lists) for prioritized testing in Russia -- let us know :)
14:48:07 <slacktopus> <xhdix> (They are usually old versions of the OONI probe.)
14:48:29 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> we collected thousands of measurements for the Presidential elections in 2018 - for this purpose we partnered with Roskomsvoboda who advertised our research on social media channels plus we did our own social media outreach. AT the end, we collected more data than we needed. Here is outcome: https://www.opentech.fund/news/exploring-online-media-filtering-during-2018-russian-presidential-elections/
14:48:49 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> That's a good point. We unfortunately still have many measurements coming from legacy ooniprobe in Russia... :S
14:49:25 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ And that was excellent research <3
14:50:07 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> Thank you! We used a custom test list however of 115 URLs - set up with OONI Run
14:50:13 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @xhdix raised an important point, which is that many people in Russia are still running the old version of ooniprobe, which is going to be deprecated by October 2021.
14:50:14 <slacktopus> <olmstead> Great idea on the VPN, if you want to think about it more Top 10 VPN is an ISOC member and had direct contact with a whole bunch of VPN’s (though obviously that doesn’t affect their review process)
14:50:45 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So if you have contacts in Russia, please ask them to install the latest versions of OONI Probe: https://ooni.org/install/ :pray:
14:51:18 <slacktopus> <olmstead> That is great, while we don’t have a chapter in Russia we work with a lot of civil society types and technologists
14:52:14 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> From our experience, the best way to reach many testers is through a local well established Internet freedom organization. Here is an example of an outreach post we did on social media for our research: https://telegra.ph/Testiruem-blokirovki-01-09
14:52:46 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ That's very helpful, thank you @ivalentovitch. :pray:
14:53:06 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> So as we only have 7 minutes left (and I need to jump into another meeting), we can proceed to the final topic
14:53:09 <slacktopus> <ivalentovitch> and one more: https://telegra.ph/PREDVYBORNYE-BLOKIROVOCHKI-03-10
14:53:21 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> #topic 3. Review and limit test lists in Afghanistan in accordance with possible new regulations. [xhdix]
14:53:40 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ @xhdix can you please elaborate? :)
14:54:15 <slacktopus> <xhdix> Thanks. I'm not aware of the new rules and conditions ahead. And in the last month, there has been no test other than NDT. But doing a simple test may have the worst result for them (legal, physical, life, etc.). I think it is necessary to consult with trusted experts in Afghanistan as soon as possible. (Until now, gambling and music were the first bans. which include punishments)
14:55:02 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @xhdix this is an excellent point, thank you for raising this. :pray:
14:56:26 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Perhaps we can start off by deprioritizing the testing of categories of websites that are more obviously risky
14:57:03 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> For example, we could deprioritize the testing of gambling, pornography, alcohol, militant, etc websites
14:57:20 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> Or boost the priority of other categories, such as news media
14:57:35 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> ^^ @federico
14:58:28 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> If anyone is in touch with experts from Afghanistan, please put us in touch with them! :pray:
14:59:11 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> @xhdix I need to jump into another call now, but if you have further ideas on what we could do, we would love to hear from you :pray:
14:59:32 <slacktopus> <xhdix> Thanks you <3 !
15:00:24 <slacktopus> <agrabeli> <here> Thank you everyone for joining us today! The next community meeting will be on Tuesday, 28th September 2021. I hope you all stay safe and have a good day/evening! <3
15:00:32 <hellais> #endmeeting