What’s a repressive government to do when the Internet gives protesters new ways to speak up? That’s easy: shut the whole thing down.
The New York Times reports that more than a quarter of countries in the world have cut off civilian access to communication tools at some point in the past four years. The practice is on the rise, mostly in Asia and Africa, and often to muffle discontent. Zimbabwe blocked the Web for six days early this year. Congo did it for 20, Sudan for an entire month. A blackout in Myanmar’s Rakhine state turned the lights off on the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority.