Four Free Toolkits to Fight Internet Shutdowns

As human rights defenders, journalists, and activists, we know the critical role the internet plays in amplifying voices, fostering connection, and facilitating efforts to protect and defend human rights. Unfortunately, we also became familiar with the weaponisation of internet shutdowns by authorities. Internet shutdowns can silence voices and hinder information access, and cripple essential services.

We understand this challenge, and that's why we've partnered with leading organisations to create a powerful toolkit collection specifically designed to empower you in the face of internet shutdowns. Whether you need technical solutions, legal knowledge, or advocacy tactics, these toolkits have you covered.

Let’s tell you a little bit more about each toolkit!

1. Measuring the Economic Costs of Internet Shutdowns by Advocacy Assembly:
This toolkit guides you through understanding and assessing the economic impact of internet disruptions. Quantifying the damage caused by shutdowns can strengthen your advocacy campaigns to resonate with a wider audience and inform better decision-making.

2. Eyes on internet shutdowns by Witness:
Documenting human rights violations is as important as ever during an internet shutdown.
This toolkit by Witness provides practical tips and approaches for capturing and preserving video evidence when faced with limited connectivity. It guides you through phone preparation for offline documentation, application selection based on your needs, maintaining media verifiability without internet access, and exploring various methods for sharing files and staying connected during a shutdown.

3. The return of digital authoritarianism: internet shutdowns by Access Now:
This report unpacks the data, trends, and stories behind internet shutdowns around the world. It showcases the dramatic increase in the use of this oppressive form of control and how civil society continues to fight these disruptions in court, establish legal precedents and build a strong case against internet shutdowns.


4. Legal Guidance on Internet Restrictions and Shutdowns in Africa by the International Commission of Jurists
On the African continent, as elsewhere in the world, the practice of internet shutdown for the purpose of suppressing access to information and the exercise of freedom of expression has been on the rise. This toolkit from the International Commission of Jurists equips you with the knowledge to understand key regional and international legal standards to be complied with by States in instances where governments have sought to impose any form of internet shutdown or widespread prevention of access to the internet.

These toolkits are available in English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic, and Spanish.

Don’t hesitate to share them with your community and equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and strategies to join the fight against shutdowns.

Your voice matters! If you have any feedback, comments or a story on how these toolkits are aiding your work, please fill out this feedback form!

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