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[rpd] New Policy Proposal - "Anti-Shutdown (AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01)"

Anthony Somerset Anthony.Somerset at
Tue Apr 11 21:30:08 UTC 2017

I 100% agree with the premise of the proposal as it is time that governments understand and experience some the pain that they ultimately inflict on their own nations through such shutdowns in the name of “protecting” their ego’s/power...

I have some questions/points to raise

The arbitration of what determines a shutdown is fairly vague - this is probably a good thing (because the options are pretty limitless) but who will ultimately make the final call on determination that a shutdown occurred? What is the time limit for which it has to be determined if it was a shutdown?

What about a partial shutdown - for example I recall our local regulator tried to shutdown only WhatsApp last year. Does the constitute a shutdown in the eyes of the policy or not? To me the current proposal implies that shutdown (successful or otherwise) is a complete shutdown of all internet traffic - I believe the proposed should be explicit to document partial shutdowns as included in this definition.

I am of the opinion that the proposal must be stronger to state that while it doesn’t preclude pre-existing censorship laws that are not all encompassing. It is also assuming that said laws aren’t in breach of internationally recognised human rights laws. I also propose that we state that any new laws a government might make should be in line with said human rights laws, otherwise they would be ignored for the purposes of determining if a shutdown has taken place.

The proposal also states that the blocked access to resources will be a period of 12 months from of the end of a shutdown, but what about shutdowns that are ongoing and have not completed? My suggestion is that the restriction period should start from the point at which it was deemed a shutdown onwards to a period of 12 months after the shutdown ends - that way if a shutdown lasts several months (unlikely i hope) it can be determined quickly and such restrictions can be placed quickly.and continue accordingly.

Anthony Somerset
Group Products Engineer
Liquid Telecommunications Limited, 4th Floor, Green Bridge, Eastgate, Harare, ZIMBABWE.
E: anthony.somerset at<mailto:anthony.somerset at>

On 11 Apr,2017, at 20:43, SamiSalih <sami at<mailto:sami at>> wrote:

Dear AFRINIC PDWG Members,


We have received a new policy Proposal - "Anti-Shutdown (AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01)"

From the following Authors:
a) Andrew Alston  – Liquid Telecommunications - andrew.alston at<mailto:andrew.alston at>
b) Ben Roberts    – Liquid Telecommunications - ben.roberts at<mailto:ben.roberts at>
c) Fiona Asonga   – TESPOK                    – tespok at<mailto:tespok at>

Published in this link

Best Regards,

PDWG Co-chairs

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