Access Now report reveals extent of internet shutdowns & documents increased pushback in courts

Author: Access Now, Published on: 1 June 2019

"The State of Internet Shutdowns Around the World: The 2018 #Keepiton Report" 01 Jun 2019

In 2018, the global #KeepItOn coalition documented more than 196 internet shutdowns around the world. Just as it has been since 2015, India was responsible for the majority: 67% of the world’s documented shutdowns took place [there]…  [W]e identify the key trends that defined shutdowns…. Perpetrators…historically use similar justifications for ordering shutdowns, [such as] “fake news”, hate speech…, securing public safety and national security, precautionary measures, and preventing cheating during exams...Governments rarely acknowledge shutdowns...  [Governments use techniques like] 1) Bandwidth throttling 2) Broadband internet shutdowns 3) Mobile internet shutdowns 4) blanket internet shutdowns 5) Mobile phone call and text message network shutdowns, and 6) Service-specific (platform) shutdowns...In addition to directly infringing the right of access to information and freedom of expression, internet shutdowns can hide grave human rights violations. [I]nternet shutdowns often occur in conjunction with higher levels of state repression, and with an increase in violent protest…[I]n some cases, governments and law enforcement may cut off access…to unleash violence on citizens with impunity. [That said] there were also challenges to internet shutdowns in the Indian Parliament [and Chad]. [W]hen…sued…in Chad… companies disclosed…that the order to cut access came from the communications regulator. That was an important step for accountability…

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