Zimbabwe to Shut down its Internet & Why We Need Decentralized Technologies

Written by jamie

August 4, 2020

The Zimbabwean government is planning to shut down the country’s internet on the 31st of July amid protests planned by its citizens, alleging corruption deals within the system.

Some people believe the protests are being fueled by the opposition to favor their agenda against the government, while others see it as a way of voicing their concerns towards corruption in the country.

The former minister of higher education, Jonathan Moyo, took to twitter suggesting that, the president’s decision in mitigating the protests is to shut down internet services and this has caused a lot of panic among the country’s netizens.

What Can We Learn from This Shutdown?

We are living in times where, as a society, we can either go down a path where all of our interactions are censored, surveilled, and policed or where we can preserve some sovereignty and freedom in the way we interact with each other as humans.

In a country like China, there are millions of people using apps such as WeChat, which do absolutely everything that is, pay bills, trade information, and communicate with family.

All of this stuff is being tracked and surveilled upon by the government.

If we go back in time to our early agrarian days, we were in these small communities and were able to trade with one another much more directly one-on-one and guaranteed those trades but over time, the complexity of our societies grew, the distance in our trades grew, and we had a lot less certainty about those trades and therefore, we built institutions such as banks, governments, implemented different rules and created marketplaces that helped codify our exchanges and lower our uncertainty about one another.

Fast forward this; the same institutions have now collected enough data on us by monitoring all our online transactions hence the need for decentralized technologies.

Whats the Way Forward?

While this is not the first time the Zimbabwean government among other governments has blocked internet services for their citizens, in 2019, the government blocked access to network services for many, which was later deemed illegal by the court.

Nevertheless, many individuals have always looked for a workaround to the shutdowns by using VPN applications.

This of cause works if the government blocks specific IP addresses such as those of WhatsApp, Google, Facebook & Telegram.

In the case that Internet service providers in the country are ordered to shut down infrastructure providing internet access to the citizens, not much can be done.

What Are Decentralized Technologies and Why Do We Need Them?

Decentralization is the process of removing power from a particular central authority.

Today we can use blockchain technology to lower our uncertainty about one another, and can therefore do business while not involving middlemen such as banks.

With blockchain technology, we can trade one-on-one again without all of the intermediaries but still with the lowered uncertainty.

Peer-to-peer virtual currencies such as bitcoins are good examples of technologies offering decentralized solutions to people around the world as they cannot be replicated or controlled by financial institutions.

Some of the benefits and why we need decentralization include;

  • No Government censorship
  • Lower system failure risks
  • Increased levels of trust among participants

The Zimbabwean government is planning to shut down the country’s internet on the 31st of July amid protests planned by its citizens, alleging corruption deals within the system.

Some people believe the protests are being fueled by the opposition to favor their agenda against the government, while others see it as a way of voicing their concerns towards corruption in the country.

The former minister of higher education, Jonathan Moyo, took to twitter suggesting that, the president’s decision in mitigating the protests is to shut down internet services and this has caused a lot of panic among the country’s netizens.

What Can We Learn from This Shutdown?

We are living in times where, as a society, we can either go down a path where all of our interactions are censored, surveilled, and policed or where we can preserve some sovereignty and freedom in the way we interact with each other as humans.

In a country like China, there are millions of people using apps such as WeChat, which do absolutely everything that is, pay bills, trade information, and communicate with family.

All of this stuff is being tracked and surveilled upon by the government.

If we go back in time to our early agrarian days, we were in these small communities and were able to trade with one another much more directly one-on-one and guaranteed those trades but over time, the complexity of our societies grew, the distance in our trades grew, and we had a lot less certainty about those trades and therefore, we built institutions such as banks, governments, implemented different rules and created marketplaces that helped codify our exchanges and lower our uncertainty about one another.

Fast forward this; the same institutions have now collected enough data on us by monitoring all our online transactions hence the need for decentralized technologies.

Whats the Way Forward?

While this is not the first time the Zimbabwean government among other governments has blocked internet services for their citizens, in 2019, the government blocked access to network services for many, which was later deemed illegal by the court.

Nevertheless, many individuals have always looked for a workaround to the shutdowns by using VPN applications.

This of cause works if the government blocks specific IP addresses such as those of WhatsApp, Google, Facebook & Telegram.

In the case that Internet service providers in the country are ordered to shut down infrastructure providing internet access to the citizens, not much can be done.

What Are Decentralized Technologies and Why Do We Need Them?

Decentralization is the process of removing power from a particular central authority.

Today we can use blockchain technology to lower our uncertainty about one another, and can therefore do business while not involving middlemen such as banks.

With blockchain technology, we can trade one-on-one again without all of the intermediaries but still with the lowered uncertainty.

Peer-to-peer virtual currencies such as bitcoins are good examples of technologies offering decentralized solutions to people around the world as they cannot be replicated or controlled by financial institutions.

Some of the benefits and why we need decentralization include;

  • No Government censorship
  • Lower system failure risks
  • Increased levels of trust among participants

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