Cameroon and other African governments that shut down internet could face strict measures if a new proposal to the regional internet registry is adopted.
The proposal submitted to the African Network Information Centre,AFRINIC, and the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa, states among other things that African governments that shut down Internet access in their countries should be denied IP addresses, for a period of twelve months following the shutdown.
The ban would also affect any transfer of addresses to government-owned entities in those 12 months. And if an African government performs three or more shutdowns in a period of 10 years, the proposition mandates that all services provided to them revoked, with no allocations offered for a period of five years.
AFRINIC is responsible for the distribution and management of Internet number resources – IP address space (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) – in Africa and the Indian Ocean region.
“Over the last few years we have seen more and more governments shutting down the free and open access to the internet in order to push political and other agendas. These shutdowns have been shown to cause economic damage and hurt the citizens of the affected countries.” reads the Anti-Shutdown-01 proposal submitted by Andrew Alston and Ben Roberts of Liquid Telecommunications, and Fiona Asonga of the Telecomunications Service Providers Association of Kenya,TESPOK.
This comes at a time when anglophone Cameroon is experiencing a four months Internet shutdown. Pundits say it is the longest internet shutdown in the world. The proposal if adopted will punish guilty governments and will have significant impact on the growth of the Internet in the affected countries.