India tops list of global internet shut-offs

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India tops list of global internet shut-offs 

According to a recent report, India tops the list of global internet shutdowns.

The report has been released by the Access Now and Keep It On Coalition, a non-profit organization.

Key findings of report:

  • India implemented internet shutdowns 84 times last year. Because of this, India tops the list of countries ordering internet shutdowns.
  • Internet shutdowns were implemented most frequently in Jammu and Kashmir. It is followed by Rajasthan and West Bengal.
  • Reasons for internet shutdown include protests, school exams and election events.
  • Internet shutdown is the intentional interruption of access to Internet and digital communication facilities.
  • At present, suspension of telecom services (including internet shutdown) is governed by the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
  • These rules have been notified under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
  • The 2017 rules provide for temporary shutdown of telecom services in an area on the basis of public emergency. These services can be stopped for 15 days at a time.
  • Only Union or State Home Secretary can issue an order for internet shutdown. A committee reviews this order within 5 days.
  • In unavoidable circumstances, an officer of the level of Joint Secretary or above, authorized by the Home Secretary of the Center or the State, can also issue an order for internet shutdown.

Effects of internet shutdown:

  • It causes more economic losses in all sectors. Some prime examples are financial transactions, commerce and industry.
  • Internet shutdowns have an impact on basic services like education, health care and other public services.
  • It leaves people traumatized by depriving them of their most accessible means of reaching their loved ones.

Source – Indian Express

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