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Friday, December 9 • 12:00 - 13:30
WS109: Analyzing the Causes & Impacts of Internet Shutdowns

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Blanket shutdowns of Internet services, usually as a means to forestall violence and civic unrest, have been gaining traction in recent times, especially in developing countries. This practice has been heavily condemned in international policy circles as being unjustifiable under human rights law, yet the shutdowns continue to occur with ever-increasing frequency. Restricting Internet access to large sections of the population has several wide-ranging consequences, including compromising the right to free speech and freedom of information and knowledge, in addition to making for an inhospitable environment for businesses and other entities that rely on the Internet for functioning. It also discounts the possibility of targeted content filtration as a means to achieve similar ends, choosing instead to restrict all access to online content and services en masse. This has dangerous implications for the future of the Internet, as frequent disruptions in service threaten to undermine its stability and reliability, thereby impacting its role as a universally accessible platform for delivery of content and services. This panel aims to explore the causes and ground-level impacts of Internet shutdowns with a view to uncovering the motivations behind such measures, laws and policies that allow them to happen and ways to prevent them.

Speakers provisionally confirmed:

Avila, Renata
Mathews, Rajan
Rydzak, Jan
Sambuli, Nanjira

Session Organizers

Prasanth Sugathan

Legal Director, Software Freedom Law Center, India

Friday December 9, 2016 12:00 - 13:30 CST
Workshop Room 4 PALCCO, Guadalajara, Mexico