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Oct 24, 2016

Psiphon Attending the First APSIG

On September 11th to 15th 2016, Psiphon attended the first Asia Pacific School of Internet Governance (APSIG) hosted in Bangkok, Thailand.

The weeklong regional school took place at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), where more than 30 participants from various countries in Asia Pacific came together to share their experience and knowledge on the Regional Internet Governance issues. Organized by the Internet Education and Research Laboratory (inTERLab), the five-day workshop featured keynote speakers from various backgrounds such as international organizations, academic institutes, civil society, government and business sectors. These organizations include: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), OpenNet Korea and Com First India

As a software company that develops a trusted tool that enables unrestricted Internet content access, Psiphon was very excited to share its feedback on Internet Governance issues, including the improvement of public awareness on Internet content freedom in the Asia Pacific Region. We were extremely happy to connect with established users, within the school, to collect and understand feedback provided in regards to our software. Furthermore, Psiphon built relationships with new users from South and Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Pakistan and Philippines. During the role-play workshops, Psiphon contributed to the final report on the facilitation of new Internet users in the next decade. This report is now available on the APSIG official website at

APSIG is a pilot program envisioned by Dr. Kilnam Chon and the next APSIG will also be hosted in Bangkok, Thailand. 
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Oct 11, 2016

Internet Curfew in Gabon

Gabon, located along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa, has been the recent highlight in Internet censorship news. The country experienced political duress following the re-election of President Ali Bongo Ondimba after elections held on August 23, 2016. The election results, announced August 31st, were contested by many, including the opposition party of Jean Ping, which lost by a slim margin.

Days before the results were announced, there were reports of slow connections and service disruptions. When the results were announced, many demonstrated in protest of what they perceived to be unfair elections. Of these, hundreds were arrested. The Internet was then shut down at about 9 p.m. local time. The government ordered the shutdown with the intent of preventing protesters from communicating with one another and the outside world.

The Internet was shut down for 104 hours in total, and afterwards Internet services were restored only partially.  There were again reports of throttled bandwidth, social media blocking, and continued limited internet access, as there had been before the days-long shutdown. In addition, a 12-hour Internet curfew was imposed, occurring nightly.

Psiphon witnessed a surge in use from Gabon over this period. After the nearly 5-day long Internet shutdown was over, people in Gabon increasingly used Psiphon to access social media and news during the hours the Internet was available.

The trend to block social media and impose other restrictions online has spread to numerous governments in Africa over this past year, especially in times of political crisis. During such events, people find Psiphon circumvention tools to remain connected to their friends and family, as well as to access outside news.

Rights activists and organizations condemn the crackdown against those who protest in opposition to the president and called on the government to restore Internet services. A statement attributed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon read, “I call on the government to immediately restore communications, especially the Internet, SMS and the independent radio and television.”
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