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India witnesses highest number of internet shutdowns in 2017-18, says UNESCO report

May 14, 2018

According to the Clampdowns and Courage-South Asia Press Freedom Report 2017-18, released by the UNESCO-International Federation of Journalists, there have been at least 97 instances of Internet shutdown in South Asian countries between May 2017 and April 2018. India alone accounted for 82 such cases, Pakistan witnessed 12 instances, while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka reported one such case each.


In India, Jammu and Kashmir experienced nearly half of the cases of Internet shutdown in the country. Over 10 instances were witnessed in Rajasthan, while Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana had less than 10 cases of Internet shutdown.

As per the report, Internet shutdowns are any intentional disruption of the broadband or mobile Internet or Internet-based mobile apps, by an order of the authorities or threat of non-state party, to control communication or online content or slowing down the access to the general public. Internet shutdowns are increasing the world over and are now also a barometer on press freedom and freedom of expression controls.


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