Internet shutdowns; Calendar gridlock

Internet shutdowns; Calendar gridlock
Photo by Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash

Everyone should read the newly published annual report on internet shutdowns in 2023. In "SHRINKING DEMOCRACY, GROWING VIOLENCE," the #KeepItOn coalition led by Access Now reports on the latest trends in shutdowns, which are only growing in number and duration:

  • Shutdowns continue to shroud grave human rights abuses and violence;
  • Authorities are normalizing the blocking of platforms;
  • The worst offenders are entrenched and emboldened in the increased, global use of shutdowns; and
  • The geographic scope of shutdowns is broadening.

In particular I learned about the successes of strategic litigation around the world against shutdowns. For example, by an ECOWAS Court order, Nigeria's block of Twitter was unlawful and Nigeria must adopt legislative measures to prevent future occurrences and directed Nigeria to align its laws with international human rights standards to ensure that similar acts of censorship do not happen again​. Other places where strategic litigation against shutdowns has been successful: Kashmir, Togo, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Here's the download:

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News and Upcoming Events

Another event!

Later this month I'll be in Geneva for the kick-off event of the World Summit on the Information Society's 20-year review. This high level event is a special edition of the annual WSIS Forum, which has been hosted by the ITU annually since the original WSIS process in 2005-07.

With representatives from the Dutch and US governments, the OHCHR and Gurshabad Grover from ARTICLE 19, I'll be talking about the importance of– you guessed it!– human rights considerations in internet standards, and in particular the importance of the ITU's evolving relationship to the human rights framework.

You can register to attend the session online.

Session 172— The impact of technical standards on human rights in the case of digital… | WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event 2024
Emerging technologies have the potential to significantly impact the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both governments and the private sector have a role in ensuring that the benefits of emerging technologies are harnessed, and the risks brought about by the design, development, deployment and the use of these technologies mitigated and remedied. This reality has also been recognized in UN resolutions, such as UNGA Resolution A/Res/78/213 on the Promotion and Protection of…

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