Search RPD Archives
Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by:

[rpd] Proposal Update received: Anti-Shutdown

Ish Sookun ish at
Thu May 25 08:26:14 UTC 2017

Hi Dewole and authors,

On 25/05/17 01:38, Dewole Ajao wrote:
> This is to inform you that authors of the policy proposal named "Anti-Shutdown" have submitted an updated version as published online at 
> Please take some time to go through the proposal contents and provide your feedback.

Thank you for the update.

Afrinic's staff assessment of version 1 of the policy proposal [1]
stated the following:

    - It's not clear that the measures suggested in the proposal are
      within AFRINIC’s mandate.

This brings back to "whether it is our problem or not". It has been
discussed [2] earlier. Internet shutdowns hinder the development of
internet in the African region. Doesn't it go against the mission
statement [3] of Afrinic.

The assessment further states that:

    - Affected government may retaliate against AFRINIC members, or
      against AFRINIC itself.
    - Uninvolved parties could be punished simply because they have a
      relationship with the government.

As long as we have "punitive" measures against governments the above
might not be addressed. Now, whether we will have an effective
anti-shutdown policy without sanctions would depend on a government's
attitude towards "freedom".

Legal counsel commented the following:

    a. There is a possibility that AFRINIC may have to face civil suits
      in multiple jurisdictions where the sanctions proposed (at 13.1 &
      13.2) are implemented.

    c. Any government of a sovereign State has at its disposal, within
       its Constitution and the laws made thereunder, the possibility to
       raise such defenses as confidentiality, Official Secrets Act,
       State Defence, public safety or public order to justify any of
       its acts/omissions.

Part a) of the comments would be concerns due to the sanctions. Those
sanctions have implications to which governments could retaliate. It
might address this issue if we tone down on the sanctions part. Question
is, should we do it?

As for part c) my opinion remains same, that we leave interpretation of
the laws to the courts whether the government should be given green
light for "shutting down" the internet.

We need a widely accepted definition of an internet shutdown and I
believe this policy provides that. Getting it do more than that will
require widespread support against government censorship.


Ish Sookun


More information about the RPD mailing list