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Zimbabwe Shuts Down Internet

images credit: shutdownzim.net

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Zimbabwe Shuts Down Internet

Multiple reports indicate that Zimbabwe authorities temporarily shut down the internet after protest on Monday. The government has blocked access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter across all the mobile and the only fixed telecoms network in the country. 

However Econet and TelOne have shut down the entire internet so if you are on these you cannot even use VPNs to get around the block.

Communication by email and social media has ground to a halt. Banks and POS/ATMs have stopped services. And companies that rely on the internet to do business have suffered greatly.

Aside from the violations of freedoms and hardships imposed on citizens, analysts suggest that the internet shutdown could also undermine the government’s own long-term vision.

How The Government[ Shuts Down internet

It varies by region but the basic idea is to turn off appropriate routers or disable the routes in a similar manner. If the government owns the internet hardware (eg: China), they shut them down themselves. Otherwise they force the companies that own the hardware to do the shutdown as is the case with Zimbabwe.

Or playing with the BGP routes to cut off the traffic from those ISPs ,to circumvent, you would need to hit a ISP outside of the control of the government ,no one outside can restore the traffic unless they set up a separate ISP (perhaps wirelessly).

The solution adopted by the group Telecomix during the Arab spring was to set back old-fashioned modem Internet access (you remember the pre-DSL era 😉 outside of the Internet shutdown zone a spread the word of the phone number to call and the access credential to use in order to connect back to the Internet.

When not expelling tech wisdom, Rutendo feeds on good stories that strike on all those emotional chords. She loves road trips, a good laugh, and interesting people.

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