India Tops In Global Internet Shutdowns


Recently, there are protests going on a national level against the citizenship bill that was passed in the Parliament. As the protests over the discrimination against Muslims escalated, the Indian government suspended the internet services in many parts of the country including its capital, New Delhi.

India Tops In Global Internet Shutdowns


As of now, due to the protests against the Citizenship Act, there is an internet shutdown in many states such as Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh, and parts of Karnataka, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.

At this point in time, Access Now, an internet advocacy group has come up with a report claiming that India leads the world when it comes to internet shutdowns. It is said to have accounted for 67% of the overall worldwide internet shutdowns in 2018.

When the authorities order for a shutdown, the interest access will be suspended by the telecom companies and internet service providers. The telcos will turn off the cellular networks at the transmitting towers thereby disconnecting mobile internet services.

The report notes that there are more restrictive controls over the internet in countries such as North Korea and China. However, these countries did not feature prominently in terms of numbers, add the report. This could be due to a lack of publicly accessible data, it adds.

Internet Shutdowns In India

Since January 2012, it is said that there have been 373 incidents of internet shutdown in India, claims SLFC (Software Freedom and Law Center) that tracks the internet suspensions over the years. While Delhi has witnessed many internet shutdowns, it is not the only place in the country. There are internet cut-offs in many other states as well.

This report counts incidents that are not statewide. There can also be shutdowns in some regions instead of the whole state for a short span of time. In Jammu and Kashmir, there have been 180 shutdowns since 2012, which is nearly half of the overall internet suspensions in the country.


Notably, the internet shutdowns in India have not been related only to the maintenance of law and order. There are situations when there have been internet shutdowns to prevent cheating during examinations.

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