Ramakrishnan Sundara Raman

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

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About Me

I am a fifth year PhD candidate at the University of Michigan Computer Science and Engineering department, where I am advised by Prof. Roya Ensafi. My primary research interests surround Internet Security and Privacy. In particular, I am interested in using Internet measurement methods to detect, analyze and prevent large-scale threats to Internet users' security and privacy.

My research involves measuring Internet censorship and network interference at global scale. I lead work on the Censored Planet Observatory, which is a platform for measuring various types of network interference continuously around the world. My work also involves understanding and analyzing the technologies that enable censorship and surveillance.

Previously, I was a research intern at Cloudflare Research in Summer 2022. I was also an OTF Senior ICFP Fellow in Information Controls at The Citizen Lab, University of Toronto, working on identifying the network devices that perform network interference.


Detecting DNS Manipulation using TLS Certificates

Elisa Tsai, Deepak Kumar, Ram Sundara Raman, Gavin Li, Yael Eiger, Roya Ensafi
To Appear - Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2023, July 2023

Advancing the Art of Censorship Data Analysis

Ram Sundara Raman, Apurva Virkud, Sarah Laplante, Vinicius Fortuna, Roya Ensafi
Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI) 2023, February 2023

Network Measurement Methods for Locating and Examining Censorship Devices

Ram Sundara Raman*, Mona Wang*, Jakub Dalek, Jonathan Mayer, Roya Ensafi
ACM International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies (CoNEXT), December 2022
🏅 IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize 2023

A Large-scale Investigation into Geodifferences in Mobile Apps

Renuka Kumar, Apurva Virkud, Ram Sundara Raman, Atul Prakash, Roya Ensafi
USENIX Security Symposium, August 2022

A Multi-Perspective View of Internet Censorship in Myanmar

Ramakrishna Padmanabhan, Arturo Filastò, Maria Xynou, Ram Sundara Raman, Kennedy Middleton, Mingwei Zhang, Doug Madory, Molly Roberts, Alberto Dainotti
ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI), August 2021

Lost in Transmission: Investigating Filtering of COVID-19 Websites

Anjali Vyas, Ram Sundara Raman, Nick Ceccio, Philipp Lutscher, Roya Ensafi
Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC), March 2021

Censored Planet: An Internet-wide, Longitudinal Censorship Observatory

Ram Sundara Raman, Prerana Shenoy, Katharina Kohls, Roya Ensafi
ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), November 2020

Investigating Large Scale HTTPS Interception in Kazakhstan

Ram Sundara Raman, Leonid Evdokimov, Eric Wustrow, J. Alex Halderman, Roya Ensafi
ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), October 2020
🏅 Best Paper Award Nominee

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
🏅 CSAW'20 Applied Research Competition North America Top 10 Paper



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Blogposts & Reports


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: [email protected]