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

Arsène Tungali arsenebaguma at
Wed Apr 12 14:13:41 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

Internet shutdowns is a topic that I am interested in so much and have been
involved in research, drafting statements sent to government officials,
have spoken in various avenues and have written pieces for websites, blogs,
journals, etc. I consider myself being an advocate of an open and
accessible internet to all. I am opposed to any form of disruption over the
network including Internet shutdown whatever the reason.

For those of us who have little knowledge on this, I would suggest two

-          One which is a report on the State of Internet freedoms in DRC
(my country):

-          And a blogpost I recently wrote for CIPESA on the same issue:

I am also a believer that we need concrete actions (more than just
statements) to help our governments understand that for no reason, they
should shutdown the Internet. In DRC, we are at 4% Internet penetration,
yet we have experienced Internet shutdown more than 4 times, being one of
those African countries that have been seriously touched (Cameroon is now
leading). And we felt the effect of being disconnected to all
communications including SMS, Internet, etc. It is harmful!

I was one of those who sent praises to AFRINIC for issuing a statement
condemning Internet shutdowns and I am glad as a community, we have been
thinking on some practical measures that will, hopefully, force our
government to no longer consider Internet shutdown whenever they are trying
to hide something. I would like to congratulate the authors of this
proposal but I am not yet in support of the measures they have suggested
because, to sum up my point here, *this will cause so much damage to those
entities that will not benefit from resources though they are not
associated with the decision (which is a Gov decision most of the times) to
shutdown the Internet*.

I note so many other people including Seun have mentioned this in this

After reading the proposal, I have the following comment which are leading
my worry in supporting this proposal as it is:

*We need measures that will only affect the entity ordering the shutdown
(the Government then the Regulator). In my country for example, it is the
Regulator who is executing an order that came from the Gov. If we decide to
not deliver resources to other entities (Schools, research centers, etc),
be they related to the Gov, we will be doing more bad to them as they will
simply be victims.*

I am glad the authors are all from ISPs (if I am not mistaken), which is a
good sign. In this debate across Africa, there were close to no statement
or action from ISPs with regards to Internet shutdown though they are the
ones executing, in most cases, the decision to turn it off, a request they
receive from the Regulator. In most cases, they have no means to say no
given the fact that they have signed an agreement (MoU) with the Gov to
abide by any request from the Gov including network disruptions (this is
applicable in DRC as per the report I previously shared).

I do believe there is more ISPs can help with in the battle against
Government ordered shutdowns and if something like this can be added to
this policy, that will be helpful. One of the possibilities are to engage
the Gov. in a win-win discussion. You guys are doing business with the Gov.
and you lose money whenever there is shutdown. There is a way you can find
an agreement with the Gov. and discuss the fact that you cannot continue
losing money when there is no appealing reason to shutdown the Internet. We
have ISPs as AFRINIC members, this is something they can think of and come
up with a proposal (with the support of the community).

If ever this proposal goes further, I would suggest these measures to ONLY
affect the Regulator (not sure if they are also members of AFRINIC but they
might) rather than any entity owned or related to/by the Government. We
will be doing more harm than good.



**Arsène Tungali**
Co-Founder & Executive Director, *Rudi international
CEO,* Smart Services Sarl <>*, *Mabingwa Forum
Tel: +243 993810967
GPG: 523644A0
*Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo*

2015 Mandela Washington Felllow
(YALI) - ISOC Ambassador (IGF Brazil
& Mexico
- AFRISIG 2016 <> - Blogger
<> - ICANN Fellow (Los Angeles
<> & Marrakech
). AFRINIC Fellow (Mauritius
- *IGFSA Member <> - Internet Governance - Internet

Check the 2016 State of Internet Freedom in DRC report

2017-04-12 15:20 GMT+02:00 Mukom Akong T. <mukom.tamon at>:

> **wearing NO hat**
> On 12 April 2017 at 14:02, Barrack Otieno <otieno.barrack at>
> wrote:
>> Hi Mukom,
>> Understood, i raised this point because i am aware of the fact that it
>> has not been easy to get the Afrinic Government working group going and
>> this could be a great area of engaging this group since most of the
>> shutdowns can be attributed to lack of knowledge by key actors and sheer
>> ignorance.
> The job of building capacity with governments is important and definitely
> will continue - not just from AFRINIC, but also from other stake-holders -
> irrespective of the outcome of this proposal. But that's a side issue.
>> As a key stakeholder it would be  great idea to include them in this
>> conversation.
> I don't see any attempt to exclude them. The AFRINIC PDP is open to all.
> Each and every person that has ever been to the AFGWG knows about this
> mailing list and how to take part in it. I'm hoping that they are following
> and we'll be seeing contributions from them soon (some already have
> responded)
> My point was that there's no room in the PDP for the community to wait
> ad-infinitum for a response from them.
>> The proposal is well intentioned but the outcome might be in the interest
>> of proponents of Internet shutdowns.
> It would greatly enhance this discussion if you could state how this will
> be in their interest.
> --
> Mukom Akong T.
> LinkedIn:Mukom <>  |  twitter:
> @perfexcellent
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------------
> “When you work, you are the FLUTE through whose lungs the whispering of
> the hours turns to MUSIC" - Kahlil Gibran
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