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Business News/ News / India/  Internet shutdown: Nearly half of global blackouts happened in THIS country

Digital rights advocacy group Access Now's 2022 report, which covers total blackouts, the suspension of particular phone networks or social media apps and the slowing down of internet connections, was compiled using technical evaluations, news articles and personal testimony.

India imposed the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world in 2022, according to Access Now. India has topped the list for the fifth successive year. The government regularly imposed communications restrictions on the region on security grounds, which rights groups have condemned and described as measures to quash dissent.

India saw over half of the global shutdowns. Globally speaking, 2022 witnessed the highest shutdowns since the group started keeping track of interruptions in 2016, if India is excluded from the list.

Out of 187 internet shutdowns globally recorded by Access Now, 84 took place in India, including 49 in Kashmir, the watchdog report added. Authorities disrupted internet access at least 49 times in Kashmir due to political instability and violence, including a string of 16 back-to-back orders for three-day-long curfew-style shutdowns in January and February 2022.

Also Read: This man, who built own Internet network to avoid paying bills, gets 21 crore from government for expansion

Militants have battled India's rule in Kashmir for more than three decades. Delhi blames Pakistan for stoking the unrest while Islamabad denies the claims.

Ukraine was second on the list, with the Russian military cutting access to the internet at least 22 times after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The Russian military intentionally destroyed telecommunications equipment and cut off Internet connectivity at least 22 times during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the watchdog said in its report.

Although India once again led the world in internet shutdowns, 2022 marked the first time since 2017 that there were fewer than 100 shutdowns in the country, the watchdog said. Iran came in third place with 18 internet shutdowns imposed in 2022 in response to demonstrations against the government.

Watch: Iranian couple dance in Tehran street, leading to 10.5-year imprisonment

Nationwide anti-government protests erupted in Iran last fall after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16, 2022. Amini was arrested in Tehran by the morality police for flouting the hijab rules, which require women to entirely cover their hair and bodies. She died while in custody.

(With agency inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 01 Mar 2023, 05:52 AM IST
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