Ramakrishnan Sundara Raman

PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan

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About Me

I am currently a second year PhD candidate at the University of Michigan Computer Science and Engineering department, where I am advised by Prof. Roya Ensafi. I am a member of the Censored Planet Lab, where I work on improving security and privacy in the Internet. My current research involves measuring Internet censorship and network interference at global scale. My work also involves understanding and analyzing the technologies that enable censorship and surveillence. I lead work on the Censored Planet Observatory, which is a platform for measuring various types of network interference continously around the world.


Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory Ram Sundara Raman, Prerana Shenoy, Katharina Kohls, Roya Ensafi
ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), November 2020

Investigating Large Scale HTTPS Interception in Kazakhstan Ram Sundara Raman, Leonid Evdokimov, Eric Wurstrow, J. Alex Halderman, Roya Ensafi
ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), October 2020

Measuring the Deployment of Network Censorship Filters at Global Scale Ram Sundara Raman, Adrian Stoll, Jakub Dalek, Reethika Ramesh, Will Scott, Roya Ensafi
Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), February 2020

Decentralized Control: A Case Study of Russia Reethika Ramesh, Ram Sundara Raman, Matthew Bernhard, Victor Ongkowijaya, Leonid Evdokimov, Annie Edmundson, Steve Sprecher, Muhammad Ikram, Roya Ensafi
Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), February 2020


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Censored Planet Observatory

I am the primary developer and maintainer of the Censored Planet Observatory, which is a platform for measuring Internet censorship and network interference continously and globally. The observatory uses thousands of remote infrastructural vantage points from over 170 countries to continuously monitor disruption tactics used by authorities around the world. All data collected using the Observatory is made public for use by researchers and policy-makers, and we have already released several reports based on data from the Observatory. I also maintain the Observatory website, which contains several visualizations of our data.

Map showing the Observatory's vantage point distribution:


Map showing percentage of disruption detected using Satellite in different countries:


Kazakhstan's HTTPS Interception

I led Censored Planet's investigation into the interception of HTTPS connections of Internet users in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan government began using a fake root CA from July 20 2019 to perform a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack against HTTPS connections to websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Google. This behavior significantly weakened Internet for Kazakh Internet users, who were instructed to manually trust the fake CA certificate. Our investigation suggested that only a portion of the Internet users in Kazakhstan were affected in what appeared to be a pilot test of the system. Our live measurements reveal that the attack was stopped on August 6 2019, and an official statement from the Kazakhstan Government suggests they will turn on the system "when necessary".

Live tracking of Censored Planet observatory vantage points observing the intercepion:

Kazakhstan See more projects →

Contact Me

Ann Arbor, MI

Email: ramaks@umich.edu