Living in a country under internet censorship is one of the hardest things a digital business owner can encounter. So, how would you ever run such kind of business if you are in Chad whose president makes the internet shutdown?
Chad Citizens Shows Anger Because of No Internet for a Year
Salim Azim Assani lives in Chad. He is running the WenakLabs which is a digital co-working space in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. The 33 years old Chadian is said to be using expensive VPS or Virtual Private Networks just to make access to the internet.
Since Chad internet has been shut down for over 365 days now, the Chad internet users utilize VPN to circumvent. Assani mentioned in an interview that a VPN is absolutely necessary in order to dive into the web in Chad. However, using it more than a year now leaves them using it even outside the country.
A Virtual Private Network is a useful and secure tunnel that allows users to use their devices to access the internet. This is by masking their real location. Aside from that, a VPN also provides some kind of protective layer for users. It is especially that the internet is increasingly becoming dangerous more than ever before.
Chad Internet Shutdown
In March 2018, the social media blackout started after some recommended changes in the constitution allows the President of Chad Idriss Deby to stay in the position until the year 2033. He has been in the position since the year 1990 and he has recently promised to restore the limits of Presidential terms before Chad’s 2016 elections. Chad internet service providers were shut down nearly after the reform was announced in the public.
The Executive Director of IWB or the Internet Without Borders, Julie Owono says that March 28 when they received several reports from their resources. Reports say that the use of WhatsApp was incredibly difficult and in some places, it is just impossible. The IWB is a non-profit organization based in Paris that advocates freedom of expression on the internet. Moreover, Owono believes that the Chad internet shutdown was a result of the videos of violent wars among the tribe of Zaghawa in the northern part of Chad inWhatsApp.
It is easy to think that the government really took advantage of shutting down internet service providers in Chad. This is to repress the discontent of citizens. The shutdown is a way to amplify protests that might begin in the social media that can lead people to challenge the President’s leadership. But it is not actually the only thing that makes Chadian angry about it.
Chadian citizens including Assani feels the real-life negative impact of the Chad internet shutdown. IWN, on the other hand, estimates the effect of this censorship in Chad’s economy. This equals to at least $20 Million beginning in March last year.
Most people might wonder why it is their first time hearing from the country of Chad. Well, internet news media does not pay much attention to the country’s trouble. Hopefully that in the near future, the internet will be back again in Chad.