Ten Courses to Demystify and Combat Internet Shutdowns

It is no secret... At Advocacy Assembly, we oppose internet shutdowns and censorship of voices online. When people lose access to the internet, they lose their fundamental rights and opportunities to connect with the world. Fighting such misconduct is a battle that echoes in every corner of the world, where advocates, journalists, and human rights defenders stand united against the growing threat of internet shutdowns.

This is exactly why we launched the Advocacy Assembly Shutdown Academy. So YOU, no matter your background or prior experience, can gain the tools and insights needed to spearhead informed campaigns to end internet shutdowns. It is about acquiring knowledge and using it to take action.

These ten courses are free and self-paced. They are designed in collaboration with experts from well-known organisations and shaped by grassroots insights. Our partners include Access Now, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), WITNESS, the Internet Intelligence Lab (IODA), the Global Network Initiative (GNI), Internews, Ve Intelligente and the Center for Law and Democracy. In each course, you will listen to first-hand experiences from journalists, advocates, legal practitioners and local civil society groups.

Curious to know more? Let’s walk through the key takeaways of each course:

1. Introduction to Shutdowns (Access Now)
This course introduces you to what is considered an internet shutdown, how it affects fundamental human rights and through which ways authorities have shut down the internet in past events. You will look into who is fighting back and how the global #KeepItOn coalition uses multi-stakeholder advocacy strategies to end internet shutdowns.

2. Detecting Internet Shutdowns with IODA (IODA)
Are you reporting a shutdown? Do the authorities deny disruptions? Are you seeking evidence? Look no further. In this course, you will learn how IODA, an online internet connectivity detection platform, measures internet outages. You will also learn how to use its dashboard to monitor for ongoing shutdowns or to look for historic outages.

3. Measuring Internet Censorship with OONI tools & open data (OONI)
What if you can track internet censorship around the world and keep those in power to account? This is exactly what you will learn in this course. You will access a step-by-step guide on how to measure internet censorship using OONI tools. You will also learn to interpret censorship data from around the world. No censorship flying under the radar no more!

4. Documenting Human Rights Violations During Shutdowns (WITNESS)
When the authorities order a shutdown, they aim to prevent the sharing and documenting of information. This way, they can avoid reports of human rights violations. In this course, you will learn how to document human rights violations with video. You will learn to do this safely and effectively, even during internet shutdowns. The course offers practical advice for grassroots activists or small organisations with limited resources.

5. Mitigating Internet Shutdowns (VESinFiltro)
In this course, you will learn about how internet shutdowns work and understand the technical details. Discover ways to protect yourself and others in difficult times and reduce their effects.

6. Mitigating Online Censorship (VESinFiltro)
If you have trouble picking tools to beat online censorship, join this course and choose wisely now. This course explains different types of internet censorship and when and how it happens. Also, you learn how to bypass censorship safely and access expert recommendations.

7. Developing an Action Plan for Internet Shutdowns (Internews)
You are tired of internet shutdowns and ready to break the circle. This course will teach you how to understand the advocacy needs and the challenges your communities face in fighting internet shutdowns. The course provides guided frameworks and practical insights so you can build a strategic action plan to prepare for, prevent, and resist internet shutdowns.

8. Engaging With the Private Sector To End Shutdowns (GNI)
Have you ever wondered where companies and businesses stand when it comes to internet shutdowns? After all, most economic activities rely on the internet nowadays. Your own internet service provider may even be a private company. This course answers these questions for you. Even more, you will learn key strategies to engage with the private sector when campaigning to end internet shutdowns. Bonus- Find out how two top telecom companies handled government orders to shut down the internet.

9. Using Strategic Litigation to Combat Internet Shutdowns (CLD)
Are internet shutdowns even legal? Can you actually go to court and try whoever is responsible? Well, here comes the idea of using strategic litigation to contest the imposition of internet shutdowns and to seek remedies for disruptions. This course examines key international human rights standards relevant to internet shutdowns. You will understand the key legal arguments to be made and how to defend them in both the court of law and the court of public opinion. 

10. Advocating & Campaigning Against Internet Shutdowns (Access Now)
You might have noticed that advocating and building communities are common themes in all efforts to stop internet shutdowns. In this course, we find out how different groups impose and enable internet shutdowns and through some case studies learn how people around the world are fighting back. 

Ten courses, seven languages, and over twenty case studies are all available for you. Each course will take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Hesitate no more and start learning at your own pace and for free.

Sign up now!

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