Audio Review

When Governments Turn Off the Internet

Internet blackouts are on the rise. Since 2016, governments around the world have fully or partially shut down access to the internet almost 1000 times, according to a tally by the human rights organization Access Now. As the power of the internet grows, this tactic has only become more common as a means of political repression. Why is this and how, exactly, does a government go about turning off the internet? 

This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke on this topic with Peter Guest, the enterprise editor for the publication Rest of World, which covers technology outside the regions usually described as the West. He’s just published a new project with Rest of World diving deep into internet shutdowns—and the three dug into the mechanics of internet blackouts, why they’re increasing and their wide-reaching effects.

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