Access to information can be a matter of life and death. Removing it by shutting, or slowing down, the internet is a serious violation of democracy and human rights. Off.guard is a tool that can share critical information to those who need it most during internet shutdowns, slowdowns, or blackouts.

Even if your connection is lost – your access to information isn’t.

Visit off.guard here

A tool that helps you in the event of an internet shutdown or blackout

Many of us take constant access to internet for granted. But manipulation in the form of deliberate disruptions and shutdowns of the internet as well as censorship is increasing in many parts of the world. It has become a frequently used tool for authoritarian regimes to control its citizens, by controlling information.

To meet the growing number of internet shutdowns, Civil Rights Defenders has created Off.guard – a digital tool that increases access to news and user generated information during internet disruptions. Off.guard creates a feed with critical information, where all posts are kept updated even during poor internet connection, without the need for your attention. The latest posts are also available offline. All information is saved on your device. Even if your connection is lost – your access to information isn’t.

Support freedom om speech and access to information by sharing Off.guard with people in affected regions.

Visit off.guard here

What is Off.guard?

  • A free tool, accessible for anyone. Easily accessible from multiple devices, not just the latest smartphones. No downloads, technical skills, software or registration required.  
  • Critical information. Off.guard allows people to share information when internet is disrupted. 
  • User generated. Anyone can contribute and share important news and information by tagging tweets with #offguardshutdowns.
  • Background updates. All content is automatically updated through web push without the need for your attention. By accepting notifications, Off.guard will run in the background and update even during poor connection.
  • Offline content. In the event of an internet shutdown, the feed will still be accessible with the latest updates prior to the loss of internet connection.
  • Low weight compression. All updates are text only, without video or images. Making it possible to stay up to date even when the internet is heavily slowed down. 
Visit off.guard here

Internet shutdowns and digital rights violations globally

To intentionally block and disrupt access to information is a serious violation of democracy and human rights. Still, shutting or slowing down the internet has become a strategic tool for governments to control their citizens. Last year alone, there were over 187 reports of internet shutdowns and slowdowns in over 35 countries. It has become a frequently used tool of government repression in the 21st century. Off.guard was created to increase human rights defenders’ possibilities to access information in case of internet shutdowns.

Visit off.guard here

Questions and answers

All around the world, human rights defenders continue to stand up for justice, accountability and human rights for all – despite threats and challenges. Off.guard is a tool designed to increase their security and efficiency by providing a possibility to retrieve necessary information in times of internet shutdowns. This is not a tool that prevents internet shutdowns – but it is a service that aims to prevent their negative consequences, both for human rights defenders and for the wider public.

Read our frequently asked questions here.

About Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders is an international human rights organisations defending civil and political rights. We partner with and support human rights defenders fighting for democracy and civil and political rights across the world. Our task is to make sure that they can work smarter, faster, and safer. Through advocacy, litigation, and public campaigns, we defend human rights. We also act as Sweden’s civil rights watchdog. With your support, we can accomplish more.

Read more about our work here.