In­dia’s In­ter­net Shut­downs

India Today - - UPFRONT -

A new UNESCO re­port on press free­dom in South Asia (May 2017 to April 2018) shows that while we may like to think of In­dia as a ro­bust democ­racy, our gov­ern­ments are rarely shy about clamp­ing down on our free­doms. The in­ter­net clam­p­downs in re­cent years are il­lus­tra­tive: In­dia leads the world in block­ing in­ter­net ac­cess to large swathes of peo­ple for sig­nif­i­cant pe­ri­ods of time on grounds of po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity. In “volatile Kash­mir”, the re­port noted, “clamp­ing down on com­mu­ni­ca­tions gen­er­ally fol­lowed mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in which mil­i­tants or civil­ians were killed”.

97

In­stances of in­ter­net shut­downs in South Asia be­tween May 2017 and April 2018; 82 in In­dia alone at state/ district level

#1

In­dia’s rank out of 30 coun­tries tracked over 21 months up to Septem­ber 2017, by ad­vo­cacy group Ac­cess Now

$3.04 BIL­LION

Or over Rs 20,000 crore. Cost to the In­dian econ­omy be­cause of shut­downs, says the UNESCO re­port

45

Days from June 18, 2017, the long­est shut­down when in­ter­net ac­cess was re­stricted in the Dar­jeel­ing hills

1,158

Web pages blocked by In­dian ISPs out of 2,464 pro­hib­ited URLs in 10 coun­tries stud­ied be­tween Au­gust 2017 and April 2018, says a Uni­ver­sity of Toronto study

5

Of the 6 long­est shut­downs were in In­dia—40 days in Nawada, Bi­har; 46 days in 2 sep­a­rate pe­ri­ods in J&K

16,015

Hours of shut­downs be­tween 2012 and 2017, says an April 2018 re­port by the ICRIER

42

Con­tent fil­ter­ing ser­vices used by 12 ma­jor In­dian ISPs, says Toronto study

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