Harvard’s Internet Monitor tracks web traffic and outages across the globe

Internet_Monitor

A new tool from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University provides users with a snapshot of threats, news chatter, and activity taking place on the Internet at any given time.

Launching for free on Monday, the Internet Activity Monitor is a real-time dashboard tracking blackouts, news hits, Internet speeds, and outages across the world.

The service pulls in public data from services such as data-transfer mega-highway Akamai, and security firm Kaspersky.

“You can go to one place instead of a dozen different websites, pull what you need, and share it with others,” said Rebekah Heacock Jones, a senior project manager at the Berkman Center.

You can sign up for a personal account and organize a series of dashboards that suit your needs, sort of like a Pinterest board documenting Internet speeds in South Korea or outages in Pakistan.

“We’ve intentionally built the dashboard to be as flexible as possible so that different people can curate and share collections for different audiences,” said Jones.

The Monitor is the latest project from the Internet Monitor at the Berkman, a group that studies the ways in which people access the Internet, what obstacles (such as censors) get in their way, and how (sometimes) they find a way around those external controls.

The new dashboard is for people who want to engage with this information efficiently: Researches, policymakers, journalists, and others.

They can see data delivery speeds and network attacks, as witnessed through Akamai’s servers, or requests for information takedown, as monitored by another Berkman project, Chilling Effects. Kaspersky contributes spam and cyber attack data by country, and Wikipedia streams information about the number of edits it’s incurring, by language.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about science and research. Email her at nidhi.subbaraman@globe.com.
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