India leads global list of internet shutdowns for fifth year in row, report finds

Is India's commitment to internet freedom under threat?
<p>Artwork: Muhammad Talal/SAMAA TV</p>

Artwork: Muhammad Talal/SAMAA TV

India has topped the list of countries with the highest number of internet shutdowns in 2022 for the fifth consecutive year.

Out of 187 internet shutdowns recorded worldwide, 84 of them took place in India.

This has raised concerns about India’s commitment to internet freedom under the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The Access Now report highlights that nearly 60% of India’s internet shutdowns last year occurred in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Apart from Jammu and Kashmir, authorities in the states of West Bengal and Rajasthan imposed more shutdowns than other Indian regions in response to “protests, communal violence and exams,” according to the report.

India has the world’s second largest digital population, following China, with more than 800 million internet users.

The Access Now report comes at a time when India’s commitment to freedom of speech and expression is under increasing scrutiny.

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Last year saw more internet shutdowns worldwide than ever before, Access Now said, prompting the group to raise fears of “digital authoritarianism” as governments continue the trend.

Apart from India, other countries that saw internet shutdowns last year include Ukraine, Iran and Myanmar.

The “military persisted in keeping people in the dark for extended periods, targeting areas where coup resistance is strongest,” the report said.




Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)

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