”Who are the Gatekeepers of the Internet?” is a project aiming to improve public knowledge of Internet Service Providers and Telecom companies in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe by increasing the transparency of digital infrastructures in the region.
The project has implemented an online platform monitoring the transparency of internet ownership in Eastern Europe. The platform provides a visual online map of digital infrastructures in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, based on data gathered during a year and a half investigation period spent collecting and systematizing information concerning the primary owners of regional digital infrastructure and improving knowledge concerning their activities and connections.

The relevance of this project lies in the fact that, as all forms of digital information must pass through infrastructure gatekeepers, i.e., through internet service providers, these provides hold the capacity to restrict access to information and freedom of speech via internet service providers. It is therefore crucial to dispose of reliable and complete information about internet ownership and its connection to politics and organized crime. 

Research activities have been inspired to three main question aiming to shed a light on ownership patterns, political influence and the existence of linkages between internet ownership and organized crime.

The countries targeted by this initiative include so far Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Slovenia.
The project has been selected as one of the nine winners of the 2014 Knight News Challenge and it has been implemented by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Rise Project and EurActiv Romania .

Tags: Internet_ownership Romania Bulgaria Hungary Croatia Czech_Republic Slovakia Serbia Ukraine Moldova Armenia Georgia Slovenia