The number of Internet shutdowns in India increased exponentially in the last decade to 690, out of which 101 were imposed in 2021.
So far, 75 shutdowns have been imposed this year, according to the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), a donor-supported legal services organisation that brings together lawyers, policy analysts, technologists and students to protect freedom in the digital world.
According to SFLC.in’s report ‘Let The Net Work: Internet Shutdowns in India 2022’, the government shut down the Internet 75 times this year for reasons that ranged from the prevention of cheating in exams to countering communal tensions and terrorism.
Region-wise Internet shutdowns in 2022. Kashmir suffered the harshest of Internet shutdowns for 522 consecutive days.
SFLC.in, which has been granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, analysed the impact of Internet shutdowns from a human rights and economical perspective, and how they affect access to basic essential services, such as education and healthcare, using its Internet Shutdowns Tracker (IST).
The IST, which can be accessed at https://internetshutdowns.in/ and is notably the only real-time database of its kind in the country, documents every single Internet shutdown since 2012, starting with the first imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on January 26.
SFLC sources its information through news and publicly available Internet shutdown orders issued by respective state governments. All reports are put through a rigorous cross-verification process by the team to verify their authenticity. It also files routine applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005, to obtain details about shutdowns.
India has suffered a loss of $174.6 million this year alone, according to the Top 10VP report for 2022, due to Internet shutdowns with long-term shutdowns leading to a drastic impact on the livelihood of people, directly contributing to the loss of employment, the report states.
The duration of shutdowns.
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