Access to the internet is a fundamental right in India, but the country also shut down the web more than others for the fifth straight year in 2022.
India implemented at least 84 internet shutdowns in 2022, a New York-based digital rights advocacy group Access Now (pdf) said in a report published yesterday (Feb. 28). At least 55,607 websites, social media posts, and accounts were shut down between 2015 and 2022, it said.
“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,” the report stated.
The situation in strife-hit Kashmir aggravated in August 2019 when prime minister Narendra Modi’s government scrapped its constitutional autonomy and brought it under New Delhi’s direct control.
The world’s second most internet shutdowns were reported in Ukraine in 2022.
“The Russian military used missile strikes to attack communications infrastructure in multiple cities in Ukraine, while also reportedly launching cyber attacks against Ukrainian internet providers,” Access Now said in its report.
Iran imposed 18 internet shutdowns in 2022 amid anti-government protests across the country in September last year. Violence erupted in the west Asian country after its morality police brutally imposed its hijab rules on women, leading to the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.