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CHRDI joins campaign to fight internet shutdowns

January 17, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) has joined more than one hundred (100) organisations from nearly fifty (50) countries around the world to launch a campaign that would help in fighting internet shutdowns worldwide.

The #KeepitOn Campaign aims to bring together voices from across the globe to push back on internet shutdowns at every level from governments, to telecommunications to tech companies to everyday internet users.

Following a publication from the Ministry of Information and Communication’s minute paper suggesting the monitoring and controlling of the use of social Media, CHRDI release a statement condemning strongly the move to monitor and possibly block access and usage of social media. The organisation considers the order as unjustifiable, unlawful and inexcusable.

According to CHRDI Chief Executive, Abdul M. Fatoma, the campaign commenced with the adoption of an international definition of internet shutdowns at Silicon Valley.

He stated that among other targets, the campaign would challenge service providers to fight back against government shutdown requests, highlight the use of shutdowns during elections, and building consensus at the United Nations and other intergovernmental organisations that people have a basic right to access information and speak freely online.

“This Political interference in the use of the Internet is unjustified and  unlawful. Any behaviour seeking to control the use of the Internet now will have terrifying effects on how citizens use the internet and exercise their online freedoms in the future,” he said.

Mr. Fatoma opined that any action intended to protect national security has got to be justified without necessarily using national security as a conduit to undermine the enjoyment of online rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

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