Melody Patry of NGO Access Now pointed out that certain countries are increasingly eager to strengthen control of the Internet in the context of freedom of expression and human rights issues.
In 2020, India’s NGO Access Now recorded no less than 109 episodes of Internet cuts or online browsing restrictions, accompanied by security reasons. In Russia, as in Iran, attempts to establish a sovereign Internet network have reappeared in recent months, which gives services hosted on its own territory a proper place while gaining firmer control over foreign services. Despite the differences in strategies, many countries continue to strengthen their control of telecommunications in the context of the key issues of freedom of expression and people’s human rights.
Melody Patry is the event manager of Access Now, a leading organization that is committed to protecting freedom and maintaining Internet access when faced with countries that see it as a strictly controlled space. She worries about seeing the government go beyond simple restrictions and no longer hesitate to directly cut off network access in certain areas, such as during elections or demonstrations.Trends described #KeepItOn’s latest report, This is a campaign initiated by Access Now to shut down the Internet.
The creation of national infrastructure to better control the Internet is only to better control information and make it easier to conduct censorship, while limiting the economic consequences of network cuts. For example, if we access the Internet through more and more local infrastructure, we can afford to reduce our access to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, while preserving, for example, the use of government websites and official state-controlled news sites.
Yes, this is relatively new. In the past two to three years, this phenomenon has indeed increased, because the Internet has been shut down with great impunity, and countries have also learned this technology from each other.
Some countries do not discriminate, but are disconnected from the entire country. This was the case in Tanzania and several other countries during the last election. Other states have developed more targeted strategies and restricted the Internet to only certain areas. Sometimes even in certain cities. This is especially true in Myanmar in 2020, and India often does so.