Digital Society of Zimbabwe joins #KeepItOn campaign to fight Internet shutdowns

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Last week Digital Society of Zimbabwe joined nearly 70 other organizations from five continents in launching the #KeepitOn campaign to fight Internet shutdowns worldwide. The full list of organizations is available on the campaign website hosted at Access Now.

Digital Society of Zimbabwe strongly condemns any moves by governments or state actors to shut down some or all parts of the Internet, as this stifles freedom of expression online and access to important information at critical times, not to mention that this sets a very dangerous precedent for autocratic regimes to imitate in the future.

It is our role as everyday Internet users to prevent any potential future shutdowns, by proactively mobilizing to resist this and actively calling this out when it does happen.

The #KeepitOn campaign aims to bring together voices from across the globe to push back on Internet shutdowns at every level, from governments to telcos to tech companies to everyday internet users. It began with the adoption of an international definition of internet shutdowns at RightsCon Silicon Valley. Among other targets, the campaign will challenge service providers to fight back against government shutdown requests; highlight the use of shutdowns during elections; and build consensus at the U.N. and other intergovernmental organizations that people have a basic right to access information and speak freely online.

The campaign website shared above features ways for people around the world to securely and safely report shutdowns in order to gather critical information about how they are being implemented and why.

Take part so that critical data around this emerging trend is collected.

The launch of #KeepitOn follows a recent shutdown in Iraq — the third in a month — to prevent cheating during school exams, as well as the recent announcement in Ghana that the police are considering blocking social media during upcoming elections in November 2016. Historically in Africa, countries like Uganda and Congo have implemented Internet shutdowns, and gotten away with it. We want no such future.

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