Keeping the Internet accessible in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo through circumvention tools in the event of a shutdown
By Arthur Gwagwa |
Internet shutdowns, carried out for stifling communications amongst protesters and dissenters, have become increasingly common in African countries during key political events, especially election periods. For example, in December 2016, both the Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shutdown the Internet despite strong statements from the Keep It On campaign and other parties. Further, there was an anticipated escalation of internet censorship events and possible shutdown in Sudan and South Sudan on December 19th, following similar shutdowns in Sudan 2013. Although the shutdown did not materialise in both countries, there are fears of such events occurring in future given the recent civilian protest in November 2016 as millions of Sudanese protested the government’s economic policies and challenged its legitimacy. There are also similar fears of a repeat in the DRC unless the country finds a durable political settlement.
In light of the above, we are teaming with organisations and individuals, some of whom are listed below, to raise awareness of circumvention tools and related projects supported by the Open Technology Fund to help people in Sudan, South Sudan and the Congo to circumvent future internet shutdowns and help keep the internet accessible in these countries under those circumstances. This campaign builds and largely benefits from a similar Access Now campaign on the DRC on 19 December 2016.
The list of tools and projects begins with basic recommendations and then provides more complex solutions that apply in different scenarios.