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Civic Space and Tech Brief: Internet shutdowns and human rights


01 April 2021


Digital spaces

All measures that intentionally prevent or disrupt access to, or dissemination of, information online are “shutdowns”. Shutdowns come in a wide range of forms, including: bandwidth throttling to slow internet access, blocking of specific apps such as social media or messaging services, and the partial or complete shutdown of access to the internet.

This document explains why shutdowns matter and when they violate human rights, as well as how to prevent and respond to shutdowns.