Number of internet shutdowns India 2012-2020 by type

In 2019 the Indian government imposed 93 internet shutdowns, out of which 72 were justified as preventive action to avoid conflict escalation or the spread of disinformation. Between 2012 and 2020, there were over 382 cases of internet shutdowns across India, out of which around 134 shutdowns occurred in 2018 alone.

Types of internet shutdowns

Internet shutdowns have been imposed in India for reasons ranging from preventing cheating during exams to instances of reactive measures against peaceful protests. The most common official justifications given by governments world-over include public safety and national security issues. Nevertheless, research suggests that the most common actual causes that led to the shutdowns included political instability and civilian protests that belie official justifications.

India creates history

India’s northern most region of Kashmir had the highest number of internet outages across the country. Kashmir also saw the longest ever telecommunication restrictions in any democracy across the world, lasting well over 200 days, from early August 2019 to late January 2020. Furthermore, between 2015 and 2019, the Indian government imposed more than 40 internet blackouts lasting over three days in various parts of the country.

Number of internet shutdowns in India from 2012 to 2020, by type

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Sources

Release date

February 2020

Region

India

Survey time period

2012 to 2020

Supplementary notes

Release date corresponds to the date of access.

The source defines an internet shutdown as a government-imposed disablement of access to the internet as a whole within a particular locality or localities for any duration of time.

Data for 2020 is up to January 7, 2020.

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