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Chad: govt accused of throttling the net

Chad: govt accused of throttling the net

Internet access lobby group Internet without Borders (ISF) and NetBlocks, a company focused on the measurement of online censorship, believe the government of Chad has deliberately censored social media and blocked access to the internet in the West African country.

Earlier this year, ISF said network measurement data "collected from Chad corroborates local reports and suggests that WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and bbc.com may have been blocked."

ISF believes the situation has not changed and there remains interference with access, with regional media reporting that social media users in the country have had to resort to VPN to access social media sites.

According to the organisation tests carried out had shown that "connections to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger endpoints were unsuccessful, while no HTTP response was acquired when testing bbc.com".

This is now said to have continued and "according to local telecommunications operators, these restrictions were ordered by the telecommunications regulatory authority" in the country.

Alp Toker, executive director of NetBlocks, said: "Data collected by the NetBlocks observatory comprising over 26,000 individual measurements provide validated technical evidence of the selective slowing, or throttling, of internet services by leading operators in Chad. Among platforms affected are key messaging and social media networks."

The organisations, under the direction of ISF, now want to approach the courts for help.

ISF believes legal intervention will help "bring social change" and greater access to the internet and social media platforms.

It said the data collected will be "used in court proceedings in Chad and before international bodies" to press for action from the government.

Abdelkerim Yacoub, central Africa director for ISF, said, "Internet Without Borders Chad will take all necessary measures before national and international courts to ensure that the right of users to enjoy an Internet of good quality and at a reasonable cost becomes a possibility."

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