Methodology for Monitoring Blocked Websites in Egypt

Masaar relied on a set of tools in order to collect measurements for the websites addresses that were pointed out as likely blocked on the Internet censorship page in Egypt for monitoring and documenting websites that have been blocked in Egypt.

First: Main Tools

Masaar relied on a set of tools for the purpose of collecting and analyzing internet measurements, and this included:

  • Using Probe-CLI software: a free tool that works as a network to detect censorship, surveillance and interference with data traffic on the Internet. The tool allows tests to ensure that websites are blocked, in addition to a range of other network measurements. You can view the capabilities of the software via this link.
  • OONI Probe v3.2.0 was used on the Raspberry Pi 4 that operates using Raspberry Pi OS, in order to test a wide range of websites likely to be blocked.
  • On occasion, Masaar relied on OONI Probe application for smartphones running on Android operating system to perform tests and collect measurements.
  • Using tools that help in conducting TCP connection tests for websites and IP addresses that are likely to be blocked in Egypt, including: Telnet, Curl and NC
  • Using tools that help in making the Reverse DNS lookup in order to check the Domain Name System (DNS) for websites likely to be blocked, including these tools: nslookup, Dig and Host.
  • Crips was used to complete the Reverse IP Lookup.
  • Outline VPN service was used to collect measurements from outside Egypt, to compare between measurements collected from inside and outside Egypt.

Second: Other Tools

Masaar relied on some other tools that would facilitate the collection and analysis of data and measurements, such as:

  • Use the Securry tool to check DNS information for a range of website domains likely to be blocked.
  • Use the tools provided by Geekflare to perform Reverse DNS lookups and audit information for a specific domain.
  • Use DNSlytics to collect data about IP addresses, or a specific range.
  • Use the Check Host and KeyCDN websites to ensure that IP addresses or links likely to be blocked are functioning normally in more than 15 locations around the world. This is in the context of reducing the chances that the problem is in the servers or the existence of geo-blocking.

Third: Classification and Archiving

Masaar has adopted the following in archiving the classification of websites likely to be blocked in Egypt:

  • Libreoffice Calc software to archive websites and links likely to be blocked in Egypt.
  • Libreoffice Calc software for creating statistics and organizing links.
  • Masaar relied on Citizen Lab’s Categories for categorizing the websites undergoing tests.

Fourth: Other sources of Information

Masaar relied on a group of sources to monitor and document the blocking of websites in Egypt, including: