Home / Technology / News /  India saw highest net shutdowns globally in H1 2022

NEW DELHI : India accounted for as much as 85% of internet shutdowns in the first six months of 2022 out of the 10 countries where internet disruptions and restrictions were recorded, according to a new report.

The report published by internet watchdog NetBlocks and VPN service Surfshark said Asia was the most censored continent.

In India, Jammu and Kashmir saw the maximum shutdowns, though they were rampant in other parts of the country as well. On 17 June, a significant disruption of fixed-line and mobile internet connectivity was reported across Bihar, according to Netblocks. The incidents occurred due to government-imposed restrictions on telecommunications in the state to counter protests over Agnipath recruitment scheme, NetBlocks added.

The report further showed that out of the 10 countries where shutdowns were recorded, cases decreased by 14% in the first half of this year—from 84 in H1 2021 to 72 in H1 2022.

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Out of these 72 internet disruptions, social media platforms were targeted six times—twice in Europe and Africa, and once in Asia and South America.

Despite a decrease in cases, new internet disruptions affected more citizens, including a total of 1.89 billion people, up from 1.54 billion during the same period last year.

“The number of countries that use internet disruptions as a weapon to silence citizens’ unrest remains worryingly high," said Agneska Sablovskaja, lead researcher at Surfshark. She said that most cases are of national or local magnitude where the internet is slowed or completely shut down, leaving its people without most of their communication means.

The report further showed that in the first half of 2022, the most commonly restricted social media app was Facebook, followed by Twitter and Whatsapp.

According to Surfshark, internet restrictions includes everything from nationwide or local internet shutdowns (partial and complete) along with social media censorship cases.

Sohini Bagchi
"Sohini Bagchi is a senior assistant editor with TechCircle with over 15 years of experience in technology journalism. She has previously worked with IDG Media and Trivone Digital Services. Sohini is also a published author of fiction and non-fiction books. Her debut novel 'Road to Cherry Hills' enjoyed critical acclaim worldwide. Her second book 'Techtonic Shift' traces the history and evolution of computers and the Internet. Sohini has a masters degree in communications from Manipal Institute of Communication, Karnataka. She is trained in Karate and enjoys blogging and stargazing when she is not working. "
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