How YNEXT strives to preventing an Internet blackout in times of war

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How YNEXT strives to preventing an Internet blackout in times of war
Presenter(s) Walid Al-Saqaf
Title(s) Advisor
Organization(s) YODET
Project(s) YNEXT
Country(ies) Yemen
Social media
2017 theme Regions & Groups

The session is a conversation on preparing for a potential Internet shutdown caused by war or other extraordinary man-made or natural disasters. A project that started in 2014 called YNEXT (Yemeni Network for Emergency eXchange of Telecommunications) will be highlighted as an example of one approach to reading for such a scenario by setting up hubs in multiple Yemeni cities during the peak of the war in the country to help keep the Internet accessible in the case of an Internet or communication blackout. The hubs had Internet satellite/ADSL nodes and power generators with rechargeable batteries and wifi hotspots to help activists, journalists and humanitarian agencies remain connected during the ongoing war even in the case of an Internet shutdown. The project evolved to provide beneficiaries with training on good practices in protecting online privacy, circumventing censorship, and enhancing data security. While the project did not get tested in a real Internet blackout, it was successful in keeping many people connected to the Internet in exceptional circumstances when power outages are the norm and Internet access is censored and unreliable. The project is being implemented by (YODET), an NGO based in Sana'a, Yemen that works on projects to use technology for the betterment of society, especially during times of conflict. The session will invite participants to engage and discuss solutions that may work in other parts of the world. Since Yemen is still in war and the prospects of an Internet shutdown are still there, it may be of great value to share ideas and get to talk about ways to optimise the YNEXT project and identify ways to minimize cost and leverage technology in ways that are sustainable.

Time and Date of the session: 14:30-15:30 on Friday March 10, 2017.

Location of the session:New Room (Las Naves).

See full schedule.

Format Conversation
Target Groups Civil society, journalists, human rights advocates, technologists
Length 1
Skill Level Novice
Language English

Session Outputs

- Recommendations and best practices on ways to mitigate a complete internet blackout in a country suffering from war or any other calamity. - Network opportunities, contacts and ideas for future collaboration are also important outputs.

Next Steps

- Introducing any new concepts and ideas that were generated from the meeting to the project in Yemen (YNEXT) and improve its readiness in the case of a complete Internet shutdown. - Taking the ideas and contacts generated from the event to proposals for future projects towards achieving YNEXT's mission in keeping Yemen connected.

Additional Notes

Relevant Resources