Why shutting down the internet is a core human rights issue

In Washington Post's Monkey Cage, Anita Gohdes writes that many countries use shutdowns as a form of repression.

In a piece for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, Hertie School Professor of International and Cyber Security Anita Gohdes and co-authors from Amnesty International write that dozens of countries are using internet shutdowns to stamp out public protest and freedom of speech, and also to hide their human rights abuses.

Gohdes describes evidence of this through her research, in particular a recent collaboration with Amnesty International on protests in Iran that took place in November 2019. During the deadliest protests since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, according to their research, the government shut down the internet so protesters could neither communicate with each other nor with the outside world.

There are countless examples of this type of repression, Gohdes says - citing examples of shutdowns during protests in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and  Zimbabwe, as well as the limiting or barring access in Myanmar, Sudan, Venezuela, India and Ethiopia.

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More about Anita Gohdes

  • Anita Gohdes, Professor of International and Cyber Security