[Measurement-wg] Borders and Gateways: Measuring and Analyzing National AS Chokepoints

Musab Isah musab.isah at afrinic.net
Mon Aug 19 10:06:46 UTC 2019

Dear all,

For our next reading group, we will be discussing a paper with the above title which was presented at the ACM COMPASS 2019 conference in Accra, Ghana, last month. The abstract is provided below and the paper is attached. We are lucky that the author, Kirtus Leyba of Arizona State University, will be joining the session to present his work, answer questions, and participate in the discussions afterwards.

The one-hour session will be on Friday 23 August 2019 by 14:00 UTC. A link to join the online meeting will be provided soon. Endeavour to read the paper and participate in the session, please.

Best regards,

Musab Isah
Research Engineer,
African Network Information Centre,
Ebene, Mauritius
Tel: +230 403 5100


Internet topology reflects economic and political constraints
that change over time. Although autonomous systems (AS)
topology has been measured and modeled for many years,
focusing primarily on economic relationships, earlier studies
have not quantified how topology is changing with respect
to nation-state boundaries. National boundaries are natural
points of control for surveillance, censorship, tariffs and data
localization. This paper introduces a measure, national chokepoint
potential (NCP), to characterize how a country’s AS
topology is organized in terms of BGP paths that can carry
traffic across international borders. To study country-level
chokepoints, we developed BGP-SAS, an open source, cross
platform, efficient set of tools for simulating BGP routing
and calculating national chokepoint measures. We use these
tools to assess how AS topologies have changed over a tenyear
span, finding significant variability among countries,
with some increasing their chokepoint potential and others
remaining constant, fluctuating, and in some cases declining.
Overall, however, most national Internet boundaries have either
become more pronounced or remained constant, despite
new infrastructure buildouts and increased Internet usage.
When compared to independent measures of Internet freedom,
we find statistically significant relationships between
NCP and Internet freedom.
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