Webconference: Internet Shutdowns and Content Censorship at the Request of Governments – Issues for International Law

The presentation will address the issues raised by Internet shutdowns and censorship of online content at the request of governments. These measures, which have become frequent in the 2010s, are likely to undermine public debate and democratic processes when they are carried out in an arbitrary manner. State sovereignty, national security, public order, respect for national laws or the fight against disinformation are nevertheless invoked by governments to justify them, to the detriment of freedom of expression and the rule of law.

Based on current events, the presentation will address these practices from the point of view of international law and will consider the contrasting positions of online platforms, particularly those of social networks, in the face of censorship requests from governments.


Valère Ndior
Professor of Public Law at the Université de Bretagne occidentale (Lab-LEX laboratory) and President of the Réseau francophone de droit international

Professor Ndior’s research focuses on international law and digital law. He is the editor of the Dictionnaire de l’actualité internationale (Pedone, 2021) and co-editor of the book Enjeux internationaux des activités numériques (co-ed. C. Castets-Renard and L. Rass-Masson, Larcier, 2020, FIC Academic Research Award 2021). He has written several contributions devoted to the governance of social networks, the use of digital platforms in the conduct of political and diplomatic activities, the protection of personal data or the relations between States and digital companies.

His current work focuses specifically on the obligations of social networks in terms of the fight against disinformation, transparency and the protection of freedom of expression.


Participants who wish to obtain a certificate of attendance in this roundtable can indicate it in the registration form. It will be sent by e-mail by the OBVIA in the days following the event. Each participant is then responsible for taking the necessary steps to have their participation recognized as a continuing education activity by their educational institution, their employer or their professional order.

This event will be held in French only.

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The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology is made possible by the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.