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India's Internet Blackouts

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Broadcaster:  Channel NewsAsia

India has emerged as a leader in internet shutdowns. The growing technological powerhouse cuts off the internet more often than any other democracy in the world and accounts for over 67% of all blackouts globally.

 

In 2019 it cut off the internet in Jammu and Kashmir for over 168 days. One of the longest digital blackouts in a democratic country. It is also known to throttle internet speeds, ban websites and smartphone apps.

 

In 2020, the disruptions to internet access cost the Indian economy US$2.6 billion. But beyond economic losses, internet shutdowns are at odds with civil liberties.

 

Why does the government shut down the web so frequently and at what cost to its citizens?

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