How To Survive An Interne Shutdown

An Survive An Interne Shutdown refers to a deliberate action taken by authorities or governments to restrict or completely cut off access to the internet in a particular region or across an entire country. It involves disrupting or blocking the flow of internet traffic, thereby preventing people from accessing online services, websites, and communication platforms.

Internet outages often occur in the context of political conflicts, social tensions, elections, demonstrations or emergency situations. Countries known to have experienced internet outages in recent years include Sudan, Myanmar, India (Kashmir), Ethiopia, Iran, and several countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Internet shutdowns can be temporary or prolonged, ranging from a few hours to several days or even weeks. They can be imposed for various reasons, such as political instability, social unrest, national security concerns, elections, protests, or attempts to control the flow of information.

These shutdowns have significant implications for individuals, businesses, and societies. They restrict access to information, curtail freedom of expression and assembly, impede economic activities, disrupt communication networks, and hinder access to vital services like healthcare, education, and emergency assistance.

What Is an Internet Shutdowm ?

An internet blackout is a deliberate action taken by a government or authority to limit or cut off access to the internet in a region or an entire country. This means that access to websites, applications and online services is either unavailable or restricted.

The blackout can be done in various ways. One way is to shut down the entire internet infrastructure, which results in no internet connection at all in the affected area. Outages can also be selective, blocking access to certain websites or platforms while other parts of the internet remain accessible.

The impact of internet outages is very significant. In terms of access to information, blackouts hinder an individual’s ability to search for information, news, or other resources normally available online. It also interferes with communication, whether in terms of text messages, voice calls, or communication via instant messaging apps and social media. where all access is blocked, or partial, where only certain websites or apps (like TwitterGoogle, and Facebook) are inaccessible.

Where are these shutdowns happening, and why?

Survive An Interne Shutdown

  1. Myanmar (Burma): Following the military coup in February 2021, the internet shutdowns in Myanmar were part of the military junta’s strategy to tighten its grip on power. The shutdowns were often imposed during periods of protests and civil unrest to prevent the spread of information, coordination among activists, and the documentation of human rights abuses. By cutting off internet access, the authorities aimed to maintain control, limit communication, and suppress opposition voices.
  2. India (Jammu and Kashmir): Internet shutdowns have been recurrent in the region of Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed territory. These shutdowns are primarily implemented as a security measure during times of heightened tension or unrest. The Indian government argues that such measures are necessary to maintain law and order, prevent the spread of misinformation, and counteract potential threats from militant groups. However, these shutdowns have had a significant impact on the daily lives of residents, hindering communication, business activities, education, and access to vital services.
  3. Ethiopia: Internet shutdowns have been employed in different regions of Ethiopia, particularly during periods of political protests or conflicts. The government has used these shutdowns to suppress dissent and control the flow of information. By disrupting internet connectivity, the authorities seek to prevent the dissemination of critical views, restrict communication among activists and protesters, and maintain control during times of political upheaval.
  4. Iran: The Iranian government has resorted to internet shutdowns during episodes of civil unrest or protests. These shutdowns are part of the government’s broader strategy to restrict freedom of expression and control the narrative. By cutting off internet access, the authorities aim to prevent the organization of protests, limit the sharing of information and videos documenting human rights abuses, and exert control over the population’s access to external news sources.

How to survive a partial internet shutdown

Surviving a partial internet shutdown can present its own set of challenges, as access to certain online services or platforms may be limited or restricted. Here are some tips on how to navigate through a partial internet shutdown:

  1. Assess the Scope and Impact:

    • Understand the extent and specific services affected by the partial internet shutdown. Determine which platforms or websites are inaccessible and which ones are still operational.
    • Identify the essential services or functions that are still available online and prioritize your needs accordingly.
  2. Diversify Your Communication Channels:

    • Explore alternative communication channels that are not impacted by the partial shutdown. This can include using messaging apps, voice calls, or social media platforms that are still accessible.
    • Utilize offline methods like phone calls, SMS, or even face-to-face communication to stay in touch with friends, family, or colleagues.
  3. Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs):

    • Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if certain websites or online services are blocked or restricted. A VPN can help bypass censorship and access blocked content by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through servers in other locations.
  4. Offline Access to Information:

    • Download and save offline versions of important documents, resources, or reference materials that you might need during the partial shutdown.
    • Have physical copies of critical information readily available, such as emergency contact numbers, maps, medical information, or important instructions.
  5. Adapt Work and Study Strategies:

    • If your work or studies rely heavily on specific online platforms that are impacted by the partial shutdown, adapt your strategies accordingly.
    • Explore offline work or study alternatives, focus on tasks that can be accomplished

How to survive an internet shutdown

Experiencing an internet shutdown can be challenging, but there are a few steps you can take to adapt and navigate through the situation. Here are some tips on how to survive an internet shutdown:
  1. Stay Calm and Informed:

    • Remain calm and avoid panic. An internet shutdown can be temporary, and staying composed will help you make better decisions.
    • Stay informed about the situation by relying on offline news sources such as radio, television, or newspapers. These sources can provide updates on the duration and reasons for the shutdown.
  2. Stock up on Essential Information:

    • Download and save important information, documents, and resources before the shutdown occurs. This includes emergency contact numbers, maps, medical information, and any other critical data you might need during the outage.
    • Make physical copies of important documents and keep them accessible in case you need them.
  3. Preserve Battery Life:

    • Minimize the use of electronic devices to conserve battery life. Reduce screen brightness, turn off unnecessary features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and push notifications.
    • Prioritize communication needs and limit device usage to essential tasks only.
  4. Establish Offline Communication Channels:

    • In the absence of online communication, establish alternative offline communication channels.
    • Use landline phones if available, as they may still function during the shutdown. Have a list of important phone numbers written down or stored in your contacts.
    • Consider using two-way radios or walkie-talkies with friends, neighbors, or family members who are within range.
    • Leave messages or notes for trusted individuals who can help relay information to others if needed.
  5. Utilize Local Networks:

    • Explore the possibility of local networks or intranets that might still be operational during the shutdown.
    • Check if there are community Wi-Fi networks, LAN cables, or localized communication systems that you can connect to and communicate with others in your immediate vicinity.
  6. Seek Physical Resources:

    • During an internet shutdown, turn to physical resources for information, entertainment, and communication.
    • Keep books, magazines, newspapers, board games, puzzles, or other forms of entertainment that don’t require an internet connection.
    • Engage in face-to-face conversations with family members, neighbors, or friends to stay socially connected and informed.
  7. Plan Alternative Work and Study Strategies:

    • If your work or studies heavily rely on internet access, adapt by planning alternative strategies.
    • Identify tasks that can be done offline and focus on completing them during the shutdown.
    • Utilize physical resources, such as books, textbooks, or offline educational materials, to continue learning or working on offline tasks.
    • Adjust schedules and prioritize work or study tasks that can be accomplished without internet access.
  8. Be Prepared for the Aftermath:

    • Anticipate potential challenges and disruptions that may occur when the internet services are restored.
    • Expect delays, congestion, or intermittent connectivity as services normalize.
    • Have patience and plan accordingly for any potential inconveniences that may arise during the post-shutdown period.

By following these strategies, you can better adapt to an internet shutdown, maintain communication, access essential information, and continue with important tasks until internet services are restored.

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