Documenting Human Rights Violations During Internet Shutdowns
This course provides guidance on how to safely and effectively document human rights violations with video during internet shutdowns. Aimed at grassroots activists, the course provides practical advice that individuals or small organisations with limited resources can enact.
About this course:
Authoritarian regimes, with the cooperation of telecom companies, are increasingly turning to internet shutdowns as a tactic to repress their populations, prevent mobilisation, and stop information about human rights violations from being documented and shared. WITNESS has worked with communities directly affected by shutdowns for many years, and has learned important tips, techniques and strategies from actors on the ground. We share resources in multiple languages to support human rights documentation efforts across the world.
What do I learn:
This course is intended to provide individuals and groups with practical tips for continuing to document human rights violations with video in spite of internet shutdowns. In each chapter, the course shares techniques and tools to help keep documenters safer and help ensure that their documentation is preserved, verifiable, and can reach others, even without internet access.
What do I need to know:
This course does not require any specialized knowledge, but it does focus specifically on aspects of video documentation that are impacted by internet shutdowns rather than on video documentation more generally.
Yvonne Ng is an audiovisual archivist and the Archives Program Manager at WITNESS. Working at the intersection of human rights, technology, and human rights, Yvonne supports and trains grassroots activists on collecting, managing, and preserving video evidence for advocacy and evidence. Yvonne holds an MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University.
1.1 Introduction to course
1.2 Why video documentation as evidence is important
1.3 Video documentation as evidence
2.1 Set up your phone for offline documentation
2.2 Basic phone security
2.3 Additional tip for obscuring your apps or documentation
2.4 Choosing documentation apps - Questions to ask yourself
2.5 Installing / sharing apps without internet
2.6 Reminder: prepare while you have internet access
2.7 Case study: How do Ugandan activists prepare for internet shutdowns?
3.1 Intro - challenges to maintaining verifiable video during a shutdown
3.2 How to make your video more verifiable
3.3 Backing up your media without internet or a computer
3.4 Case study: Preserving evidence during internet shutdowns in Latin America
3.5 Video as evidence of abuse during presidential elections in Uganda, Adebayo Okeowo
3.6 Maintaining verifiable video during a shutdown
4.1 Sharing with Bluetooth, Wifi direct, and nearby share
4.2 Using a wireless drive or wireless network
4.3 Using P2P tools for communication and sharing
4.4 Circumventing blocked sites: VPNs and DNS servers
4.5 Circumventing internet shutdowns in with Cuba and other countries in Latin America
4.6 Countering state violence and false government narratives in Colombia
Central Asian Network of Internet Activists (CANIA) is a network of dedicated researchers and activists with a passion for digital rights, security, and development. Originating from Central Asia, they understand the challenges of internet accessibility and the pivotal role of the internet in economic advancement. CANIA’s efforts centre around increasing awareness of pressing issues like data privacy, internet accessibility, digital literacy... read more.
On February 3, Senegal’s President Macky Sall announced a delay of the much-anticipated presidential elections, originally planned for February 25, in what some are calling a “constitutional coup.” Protests erupted, and the government imposed a mobile internet shutdown. Read more...
In 2023, Advocacy Assembly's Shutdown Academy made significant progress in advancing digital rights and combating internet shutdowns globally. We are proud to share with you the key milestones and initiatives that shaped our year, highlighting the activities that we have done over the past year.
Due to the overwhelming demand for the first AA-ISA Mentored Training Program, we have decided to run the program again from February through April 2024. The program will provide support and community guidance as you go through the ten Advocacy Assembly Internet Shutdown Academy courses, as well as opportunities to engage with mentors, experts, and funders.
Have you ever asked yourself how the internet shapes your life?
It's a question we rarely pause to consider, yet the internet has become so woven into our everyday lives. From education and communication to commerce and entertainment, the internet facilitates a vast array of activities that enrich our lives. But what happens when this vital lifeline is suddenly cut off?