Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Internet Shutdown Tracker

In India the government uses blanket internet shutdowns to try to curb violence and unrest in conflict ridden areas. The state believes that these bans on internet access are important preventative measures to stop the spread of violence.

Opponents of these internet shutdowns argue that because India has a flourishing digital economy such indeterminate denials of access to the internet cause businesses and the economy as a whole to suffer needless losses. The bans also effect the ability of journalists to report the news in crisis situations and can cause stress to people trying to contact friends and families. There is also the worry that the power to impose internet shutdowns can be used by the government to stifle legitimate opposition.

The Software Freedom Law Centre are trying to track the Indian government's use of internet shutdowns. One way in which they disseminate this information is through the Internet Shutdown Tracker interactive map. The map shows locations across India where the government has shutdown the internet.

The map also includes a breakdown of the number of internet shutdowns imposed by year. This tracker shows that in 2016 the government vastly increased the number of times it resorted to restricting access to the internet.

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