India enforced as many as 106 internet shutdowns last year and was on top of the list of nations that applied internet shutdowns for the fourth year in a row, as per a report published by Access Now and the KeepItOn coalition.
“India was responsible for at least 106 incidents, making it the country imposing the highest number of shutdowns globally for the fourth consecutive year. Of these, 85 were in Jammu and Kashmir, … where authorities continue to impose intentional internet disruptions that last for long periods…,” the report said.
There were at least 182 documented internet shutdowns during 2021in 34 countries, as against 159 documented across 29 nations in 2020, as per the report.
“Following trends we’ve seen developing for years, in 2021, governments imposed both prolonged and increasingly targeted internet shutdowns, and relied on many of the same justifications for deploying these inherently disproportionate and drastic measures,” it said.
While India led the pack of countries which enforced these shutdowns for the fourth year in a row, Myanmar — at number two — imposed 15 shutdowns in 2021, followed by Sudan and Iran which imposed five shutdowns each.
In a report released earlier this year, internet firm top10vpn.com had said that internet shutdowns, ordered by central, state and district level authorities in India had lasted for 1,157 hours in total, resulting in a loss of $583 million in 2021. These shutdowns impacted 59.1 million people. India was third in terms of total duration of domestic internet shutdowns, behind Myanmar and Nigeria, with blackouts of 12,238 and 5,040 hours, respectively.