internet shutdown

Press briefing: elections and internet shutdowns

UPDATE: November 30, 2020 the recording is available to watch via Access Now’s YouTube channel.

The fight to #KeepItOn during elections: the role of stakeholders 

The internet plays a key role in democracy in 2020. Access to the internet, social media platforms, and messaging services enables people to obtain information, actively participate in the voting process, engage in public discourse, and hold elected leaders to account — all key tenets of a democratic society. Yet, in 2020 alone, the governments of Togo, Burundi, Guinea, Belarus, Tanzania, and Myanmar all held elections, and all disrupted access to the internet and digital communications tools, plunging millions into darkness and denying people their right to fully participate in the democratic process.

The fight to #KeepItOn during elections: the role of stakeholders is bringing together regional and international experts to delve into the incidents of internet shutdowns documented in 2020 during elections, and explore how stakeholders can work together to raise awareness about these acts of repression and hold governments accountable. Journalists and members of the media are invited to actively participate, and use this unique opportunity to ask the pressing questions.

When: November 30, 2020, 12:00 UTC 

Where: Access Now YouTube Live 


  • Peggy Hicks, Director Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Maung Saungkha, Poet, Activist & Executive Director at Athan (Myanmar) 
  • Maria Sarungi-Tsehai, Activist & Founder of Change Tanzania (Tanzania)
  • Alexey Kozliuk, Co-Founder of Human Constanta (Belarus)
  • Yana Goncharova, Chief Communication Officer at Human Constanta (Belarus)
  • Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now 
  • Natalia Krapiva, Tech Legal Counsel at Access Now

Read: Background information and resources.

No need to RSVP, just join us via YouTube at the time of the briefing. If you are unable to join live, you can reach out to [email protected] with requests for comment or to schedule an interview.