How to Fight an Internet Shutdown

Internet shutdowns pose a terrifyingly real threat worldwide. They have become early warning mechanisms for human rights violations during the most critical moment of democracies — elections. In 2016 alone, Access Now has recorded nearly 30 shutdowns in a variety of contexts and situations, from the Pacific Ocean to Pakistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and even the U.S. has a mysterious “killswitch” rule that could allow the government to shut down the net. At the start of this session, we’ll share key strategic lessons to fight shutdowns including: working with telcos to resist government orders, speaking about shutdowns in human rights language, pressuring government figures, evaluating needs for effective circumvention tools and VPNs, capturing data about shutdowns, and storytelling for change. The second, main part of the session will be wholly interactive and focus on a shutdown simulation that invites participants to respond to the shutdown. What should activists do when a shutdown occurs? They’d better be ready. By attending this session, join a movement of people looking to help all of us keep the internet on.





Matt Mitchell

Security Researcher, Operational Security Trainer, and Hacker

New York, USA