Twitter backlash after Ethiopia’s PM threatens Internet shutdown

On 1 August, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the Internet and social media could be blocked at any time to preserve national security.

Responding to an assassination attempt which took place on 22 July and caused a nationwide Internet shutdown, Ahmed said that the ‘Internet is not water, Internet is not air’ although it is important.

Other Internet shutdowns in the country include those that take place during national exams, to prevent cheating.

The threat received an adverse reaction from Twitter users, who stressed the need for the government to protect online users and respect their digital rights.