INITIATIVE: Chokepoint Project
A response to Egypt turning off The Internet


UX, Co-founder


Recruiting, UX, managing, marketing, public speaking  


Data, Data visualization, infrastructure


Chokepoint Project was a non-profit, open source software initiative focused on detecting network intrusions and blockages across the Internet.


Project development (funding, recruitment, software development, marketing) was all challenging on a tiny budget


• Launched a web-based tool that measured network interference globally.
• Raised €250,000 from the European Union.
• In 2018 merged with other projects monitoring network interference as part of European Union defence infrastructure.
Bootstrapping an initiative  
When the Egyptian government turned off the Internet in early 2011, during the 'The Arab Spring', it quickly became apparent that services to monitor such outages were severely lacking with nothing available on a global scale, only country specific projects like the Great Wall of China monitoring. I wanted to contribute to a global solution and wrote a pitch for a service to do just that.

How to build a early warning system to globally monitor network outages with little technical knowledge.

I talked to informed experts globally who understood the technical and legal challenges and how to break them down into constituent parts, from the data supply through data visualization, information expression and alerts. The project also needed funding, engineers and marketing.
The feedback from legal and engineering specialists indicated we would be building a web-based early warning system to detect when governments or other actors restrict access to the Internet. The project collected, analyzed and reported on when global networks were disrupted, whether by state actors or natural calamities. We used a Google API that published near real-time network layer data.

We were able to develop and launch a web-based tool that measured network interference globally combined with legislation data / country. This project succeeded in raising funds from the European Union €250,000. The codebase was later merged with other similar projects monitoring network interference in 2018.
Promotion, recruitment, development, funding

• We promoted the project across technology communities using social media marketing. We recruited 2 volunteer developers interested in the problem space who ended up becoming key contributors. We raised 10k EUR by winning an award and used this to fund further recruitment. We traveled to events like the Chaos Communication Camp (CCC) in Germany.

Result: Recruited a team of 4 core developers and attracted a wider group of
14 other support contributors.

• I designed v1 of the user experience which we produced and launched.

• We presented and promoted the project globally, to recruit and find more funding. (Brussels, Rio de Janairo, Paris, Luxembourg, Madrid, Netherlands, United Kingdom)

• The project succeeded in getting structural funding from the European Union (250k EUR).