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Economic Impact due to Internet shutdowns; over double of 20 others’

Topics Covered: Role of media and communication network.

Economic Impact due to Internet shutdowns; over double of 20 others’:


Context:

Findings of a report by the UK-based privacy and security research firm Top10VPN over on economic impact due to internet shutdowns.

Key Findings:

  • India suffered the biggest economic impact in the world in 2020 due to Internet shutdowns.
  • Up to 8,927 hours and $2.8 billion losses.

Internet shutdown:

Internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of Internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information.

Areas that are affected:

  • As in previous years, India continued to restrict Internet access more than any other country over 75 times in 2020.
  • The majority of these short blackouts were highly targeted, affecting groups of villages or individual city districts, and so were not included in this report, which focuses on larger region-wide shutdowns.

Restrictions in J&K:

  1. The report made a separate mention of the extended curbs on Internet use in Kashmir, with suspension of services lasting from August 2019 when J&K’s special status was scrapped to March 2020 and still remaining severely throttled, with only 2G accesses available.
  2. Calling it the longest Internet shutdown in a democracy the report says, “The restrictions have negatively impacted the distribution of medicine, businesses and schools.”

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 144 of the CrPC.
  2. About Indian Telegraph Act.
  3. Key Provisions of the IT Act 2000.
  4. Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) is related to?
  5. Article 370 of the Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss about the various impacts of internet suspension in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources: the Hindu.