On October 6th, GNI participated in a panel at The Brookings Institution on the costs of Internet Shutdowns.

Kath Cummins, GNI director of communications and outreach, emphasized shutdowns’ harms on economic development and human rights. These costs are often mutually reinforcing, particularly for emerging economies.

She called on governments to recognize the challenges these restrictions pose for development and human rights, rather than viewing shutdowns solely through a security lens.

Building on our July statement with the Industry Dialogue, the GNI continues to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration and engagement to raise awareness and discourage governments from turning to shutdowns before they occur.


Kath Cummins, Director of Communications and Outreach – GNI

Deji Olukotun, Senior Global Advocacy Manager – Access Now

Taylor Reynolds, Technology Policy Director, Internet Policy Research Initiative – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Darrell West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies – The Brookings Institution (Moderator)

Shutdowns are drastic measures that chill freedom of speech and are disproportionate in their human rights and economic impacts — preventing financial transactions, stalling e-commerce and undermining personal and business communications. Even temporary disruptions complicate the provision of emergency services, medical care, and education, which increasingly rely on the sharing of digital information.

For inquiries about this event or GNI’s work on shutdowns, please visit our website or contact GNI Director of Communications and Outreach Kath Cummins, [email protected].