Belarus media use new technology to fight internet shutdown

Belurus government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko announced last week that it was canceling the press accreditations for all foreign journalists with immediate effect. 

Belarus has already blocked its citizens from accessing local media websites, including the Belarusian branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as a part of a three-day internet outage and weeks of protests over the Aug. 8 election.

Some media outlets are fighting back with the help of technology. Certina Belarusian news organisations are using NewNode, a decentralised file-sharing service by the California-based startup Clostra. 

The principle behind NewNode is that if one user can’t access a website but another one can, they can connect to each other and exchange available data like torrent clients do. But it won’t help if there is a total internet shutdown, or if the entire mobile network is down. 

Since the Internet shutdown in Belarus wasn’t absolute, media organisations were able to resort to it.