Shutdown Academy

60 mins

Introduction to Internet Shutdowns

Access Now
This course offers an introduction to internet shutdowns, including an overview of the shutdown problem and examples of different ways governments shut down the internet and other communications channels. It will examine how internet shutdowns exacerbate human rights abuses and interfere with democratic processes. The course looks into who is fighting back and multi-stakeholder advocacy strategies used by the global #KeepItOn coalition to end internet shutdowns.
About this course:
This course is designed to equip advocates, activists, campaigners, lawyers, human rights defenders, individuals, and journalists with a general understanding of what an internet shutdown is, where they happen, and under what circumstances.
What do I learn:
This introductory course is intended to provide human rights defenders, journalists, activists, and individuals with an overview of what internet shutdowns are, why and when they happen, and which organizations are working on the internet shutdowns issue. It will also discuss the challenges of mitigating internet shutdowns and censorship and how internet disruptions can impact democracy.
What do I need to know:
This course is useful for anyone with an interest in understanding the basics of internet shutdowns, why and how they happen, and how to push back against them. Access Now is an international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining direct technical support, comprehensive policy engagement, global advocacy, grassroots grantmaking, legal interventions, and convenings such as RightsCon, we fight for human rights in the digital age.


Felicia Anthonio

Felicia Anthonio works with Access Now as #KeepItOn Campaign Manager – leading a global campaign that unites over 280 organizations around the world working to fight against internet shutdowns. Before joining Access Now, she was a Programme Associate at the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) where she coordinated the African Freedom of Expression Exchange.

1.1 Introduction to the course
1.2 The facts on internet shutdowns
1.3 How internet shutdowns harm human rights?
1.4 Quiz - The basics of internet shutdowns
1.5 History of internet shutdowns - From Egypt to Myanmar
2.1 Defining internet shutdowns (#KeepItOn definition)
2.2 Technical means to shutdown the internet
2.3 Quiz - Am I experiencing an internet shutdown
3.1 Why internet shutdowns are a barrier to elections
3.2 Civil unrest, protests and shutdowns
3.3 What activists need to know
3.4 Case study - Susan Mwape, Common Cause Zambia Case study
3.5 Quiz - activity
3.6 Cuba Case Study - Norges Rodríguez, Yucabyte
4.1 Tips for planning for shutdowns during elections and civil unrest
4.2 About the #KeepItOn Coalition
4.3 Internet shutdown monitoring tools
4.4 Liaising with national and International institutions over shutdowns
4.5 Why the private sector matters
5.1 Wrap up video
5.2 Course survey

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