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Reports: Monitoring the state of internet censorship in South and Southeast Asia

In collaboration with civic tech initiative Sinar Project, EngageMedia published the 2023 reports on the state of internet censorship in Indonesia and the Philippines. The reports feature analyses of network interference in the two countries using measurements in the two countries gathered by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI).

Some of the key findings on the state of internet censorship in Indonesia include:

  • The three categories with the highest rate of blocked or likely blocked websites are Pornography, Gambling, and Provocative Attire. There are also a significant number of blockings in the LGBT, Terrorism and Military, and Hate Speech categories;
  • Based on a rough comparison with the confirmed blockings found last year, a few blockings were newly detected this year, including (a cryptocurrency website),,, and; and
  • In terms of method of blocking, the internet service providers either implemented HTTP or DNS blocking based on the government block list, i.e., TrustPositif. The study also found that about 20% of the confirmed blockings were not detected on the block list, but this may be due to various reasons.



The state of internet censorship in the Philippines captured the following pointers:

  • Websites primarily related to news media, LGBTQ+, pornography, online gambling, and political criticism were found to be blocked in the Philippines.
  • Blocking was mainly done through DNS tampering; and
  • In June 2022, outgoing National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. used the Anti-Terrorism Law as a legal basis to request the National Telecommunications Commission to block access to 28 websites allegedly linked to “communist-terrorist” groups.


The study is part of the Internet Monitoring Action Project (iMAP), a three-year collaboration among civil society organisations in the Asia-Pacific advocating for freedom of expression on the internet. The program measures network interference and restrictions on freedom of expression online in Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.