The internet has been restored in Cameroon after 94 days! Thanks to everyone who took action to end this human rights violation. You can read our press release here.

More than 50,000 people have taken action on internet shutdowns — but the fight isn’t over yet, as disruptions are still harming lives around the world. We need your voice more than ever!

To the world’s governments,
I urge you to publicly commit to keep the internet on. Internet shutdowns harm human rights and the economy.

#KeepItOn is an Access Now campaign. Read more about us.

What else can I do?

What is an internet shutdown?

An internet shutdown happens when someone — usually a government — intentionally disrupts the internet or mobile apps to control what people say or do. Shutdowns are also sometimes called “blackouts” or “kill switches”. Here’s a more technical definition developed by experts: “An internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information.”

The internet enables all our human rights, and we need our leaders to pledge to #KeepitOn.

Why is this a problem?

Internet shutdowns pose a threat to human rights around the world. They harm everyone: businesses, emergency services, journalism, human rights defenders, and demonstrators. They don’t help victims or restore order. Even worse, they’re increasing — in 2016, we recorded more than 50 shutdowns, more than double what we recorded in 2015.


  • “How do you expect to achieve the digital economy plan when you shut down the internet in a region where the country’s best techies are found?” – user in Cameroon
  • “When our mobile connection was finally restored, we learned that eight people had been killed in the last few hours.” — Journalist in Kashmir, India
  • “You cannot imagine how hard it was, not being able to have access to Internet and to some mobile services. I was sometimes obliged to cross the border to Rwanda to check my emails and to send out some tweets about the current situation.” — Arsène Tungali, Journalist
  • “It’s bad when you know the government can isolate you from the whole world.” — Ramy Essam, Egyptian artist
  • “I risk my life by traveling on the killer Kumba-Douala road [notorious for its road traffic accidents] once every week just to be able to go online. I am a refugee in my own country.” – community manager in Buea, Cameroon
  • “We need internet for communication, commerce, education, personal growth, helping humans & animals and much, much more.” @wintress_1
  • “I had to make a four-hour round trip to a neighbouring region every time I wanted to send radio reports to my editors.” Frederic Takang, BBC News, Cameroon
  • “I work on guard duty with a protected person and I’m put up at the Srinagar police lines. Due to the lack of phone network, I couldn’t reach out to my family.” — police officer in Kashmir, India

Who’s pushing back

  • Acceso Libre
  • Access Now
  • ACI Participa
  • AFEX
  • Arab World Internet Institute
  • Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles
  • Association Djiboutienne des Droits de l’Homme
  • Association for Progressive Communications
  • Baaroo
  • Bahrain Center for Human Rights
  • Bahrain Watch
  • Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communications
  • Bits of Freedom
  • Bloggers Association of Kenya
  • Blueprint for Free Speech
  • Bolo Bhi
  • Bytes for All
  • Campaign for Human Rights and Development International
  • Ca Suffit
  • Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Center for Media Research Nepal
  • CIPESA
  • CIPIT
  • Collectif #Sasouffit
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Derechos Digitales
  • Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan
  • Digital Rights Watch Australia
  • Digital Society of Zimbabwe
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • EMPOWER
  • Engage Media
  • EPIC
  • Feminism in India
  • Filipino Freethinkers
  • Fight for the Future
  • Foundation for Media Alternatives
  • Freemuse
  • Free Press
  • Free Press Unlimited
  • Fundacja ePaństwo
  • Fundacion Via Libre
  • Gambia Press Union
  • GetUp!
  • Gulf Center for Human Rights
  • GreatFire
  • Hack the Climate
  • Heliopolis Institute
  • Hiperderecho
  • Hivos
  • Human Rights Foundation
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Ideosync Media Combine
  • ifreedom Uganda
  • Icelandic Modern Media Initiative
  • Index on Censorship
  • Internet Lab
  • Internet Freedom Foundation
  • International Media Support
  • Internet Sans Frontières
  • Internet Society
  • International Service for Human Rights
  • Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan
  • Internews
  • Ipandetec
  • IRADA
  • Iraqi Network for Social Media
  • Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
  • IT for Change
  • ITS Rio
  • Iyina
  • Jhatkaa
  • Jordan Open Source Association
  • KICTANet
  • Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet
  • La Quadrature du Net
  • Media Foundation for West Africa
  • Media Institute of Southern Africa
  • Media Matters for Democracy
  • Media Rights Agenda
  • Open Observatory of Network Interference
  • Open Democracy Advice Centre
  • OpenMedia
  • Open State Foundation
  • Open Technology Instititute
  • Namibia Media Trust
  • NYC Mesh
  • Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
  • Pacific Freedom Forum
  • PEN America
  • PEN Melbourne
  • PenPlusBytes
  • Press Union of Liberia
  • Projet d’action pour une Alternance Crédible au Tchad
  • Public Knowledge
  • R3D
  • Right2Know
  • Sarawak Report
  • ShareAction
  • Sinar Project
  • Social Media Exchange
  • SocialTic
  • Software Freedom Law Centre
  • SonTusDatos
  • Sula Batsu
  • Sunlight Foundation
  • Trop C’est Trop
  • Turkey Blocks
  • TVYangu
  • Unwanted Witness
  • Usuarios Digitales – Ecuador
  • Venezuela Inteligente
  • Viet Tan
  • WITNESS
  • Women in Information Technology
  • Women of Uganda Network
Add your organization

Add Your Organization

Join the #KeepitOn campaign

More you can do to help

  1. Tell world leaders to keep the internet on.

    Join the fight to #KeepItOn!
  2. Every voice helps! Tell people about our campaign. You can share or remix the graphics, avatars, stickers, posters, banners, and badges below.

    Download the visual kit
  3. Know about a shutdown? Email us! If you can, please include screenshots of offline pages, time and date of the shutdown, photos, or any other information you think would be helpful.

    PGP Key ID: 0xB7A750B1 Copy the public PGP Key

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Contact

Want to know more about this campaign or have a press inquiry? Contact deji@accessnow.org