A guide to staying online if the internet or social media gets blocked in your country
For digital rights activists, an important milestone came in 2016 with the adoption of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on promoting and protecting the freedom of users online. Yet, 51 intentional disruptions of the internet and electronic communications took place in the first 10 months of 2016 in countries across the world. For Africans, 2016 shaped up to be “the year of internet shutdowns,” as at least 11 governments interfered with the internet during elections or protests.
In 2017, the threat of internet blackouts, besides surveillance and monitoring of online activities, still looms large. Deji Olukotun, the senior global advocacy manager with Access Now says that there are significant challenges facing internet freedom. These include, he says, “the increasing sophistication of internet shutdowns to target smaller groups of people and locations” besides the deployment of technologies “that don’t truly provide new users with access to the full, open internet.”
Governments usually direct telecommunication companies to block certain websites or completely shut down the telephone and internet network. The next time that happens, here are a few things you can do to avoid the blackouts.
BUT it is always best to be prepared and do something now about it (eg. some apps need to be downloaded before you lose connectivity or sites are blocked). An option not mentioned here is also WUGs (Wireless User Groups) which allow you to connect your computer to a local network running across your town. This operates separately from the Internet but does require you to buy a radio, and antennae and a mast at least.
|A guide to staying online if the internet or social media gets blocked in your country
In 2017, the threat of internet blackouts and surveillance still loom large