What is IXmaps?

IXmaps is an internet mapping tool that allows you to see how your personal data travels across the internet. Every time you go online, your computer exchanges "packets" of information with the destination website, email server, etc. Along the way, your data is routed through switching centres, where it is potentially subject to surveillance by carriers or security agencies. Our research attempts to make this routing as well its privacy risks more visible and comprehensible. Learn more about IXmaps...

Who's looking at your data?

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) engages in warrantless internet surveillance. Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician turned whistleblower has revealed that the NSA has installed surveillance equipment at AT&T’s main switching centre in San Francisco capable of intercepting all the data passing through it. The NSA is strongly suspected of operating similar spying facilities in 15-20 other U.S. cities. For example, one of our routes shows that data packets from Toronto to the San Francisco Art Institute pass through several such suspected sites. Learn more about who's looking at your data...

What are 'boomerang' routes?

A boomerang route is a data packet path that starts and ends in Canada, but travels through the USA for part of the journey. We’ve found that a lot of Canadian internet traffic is routed this way, even when starting and ending in the same city. What’s more, much of this boomerang traffic passes though suspected U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance sites. Canadians who value their privacy may be concerned about boomerang routing because it means our personal data to the USA PATRIOT Act. Learn more about boomerang routes...

The IXmaps database

We have collected over 20000 traceroutes in our IXmaps database, all generated by users like you. These traceroutes are then geolocated, and the visualizations are available to browse in our Explore page Given how many options are available on the page, it may be helpful to watch this introductory video...