The ONI mission is to investigate and challenge state filtration and surveillance practices. "Our approach applies methodological rigor to the study of filtration and surveillance blending empirical case studies with sophisticated means for technical verification. Our aim is to generate a credible picture of these practices at a national, regional and corporate level, and to excavate their impact on state sovereignty, security, human rights, international law, and global governance."
"The OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of four leading academic institutions: the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto; Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; the Advanced Network Research Group at the Cambridge Security Programme, University of Cambridge; and the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University.
Our aim is to investigate, expose and analyze Internet filtering and surveillance practices in a credible and non-partisan fashion. We intend to uncover the potential pitfalls and unintended consequences of these practices, and thus help to inform better public policy and advocacy work in this area.
To achieve these aims, the ONI employs a unique multi-disciplinary approach that includes:
1. Development and deployment of a suite of technical enumeration tools and core methodologies for the study of Internet filtering and surveillance;
2. Capacity-building among networks of local advocates and researchers;
3. Advanced studies exploring the consequences of current and future trends and trajectories in filtering and surveillance practices, and their implications for domestic and international law and governance regimes." (http://opennet.net/about-oni)