Life Interrupted: The Impacts of Internet Shutdowns

Internet shutdowns are a persistent threat to human rights, whose impacts have grown even more severe as more and more aspects of daily life migrate online. In this session, Tomiwa Ilori presented a recent report he authored for the Global Network Initiative, which documents the debilitating social harms of network disruptions in 11 African countries. In addition to the rights to freedom of expression, association, and political participation, Tomiwa’s report considered the damage flowing from years-long disruptions of access to healthcare and educational resources in regions which are already desperately underserved. Likewise, there are substantial economic impacts, as populations may find it difficult to work or seek advancement. The session also discussed recommendations for different stakeholders involved with network disruptions, in order to mitigate their harm.

Speaker: Tomiwa Ilori, Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria
Moderator: Mark Verstraete, Institute for Technology, Law & Policy