SRINAGAR:  Leading the world for the fifth consecutive year in internet blackouts, India has once again topped the list in 2022, New York based internet advocacy watchdog ‘Access Now’ said in a report on Tuesday.

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This is the fifth consecutive year India has topped the global charts on this score and recorded highest number of internet shutdowns.

The watchdog’s report says that a total of 187 internet shutdowns were reported globally in 2022. Out of 84 such internet disruptions in India, 49 were reported in Jammu and Kashmir alone.

As per the report, the internet shutdowns in Jammu and Kashmir were imposed due to political instability and violence.

The report said India has accounted for 58 percent of all documented shutdowns globally since 2016.

In 2021, around 80 per cent of all internet shutdowns in India were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, with JK being subjected to 85 such disruptions out of a total of 106 internet shutdowns reported in India.

The report said, “Indian authorities blocked at least 55,607 websites, URLs, mobile applications, social media posts and accounts between 2015 and 2022.  In 2021, 107 incidents of internet shutdown were recorded in India with orders to take down 6,096 social media posts, while 6,775 social media posts and accounts were ordered to be taken down last year.”

The war torn Ukraine stands second on the list and recorded 22 internet shutdowns after it entered into an armed conflict with Russia last year.

Pertinent to mention that Supreme Court, in 2020 declared internet access to be a fundamental right by extension, stating that the blackout could not last indefinitely and blackout orders must be published with specific reasons.

 

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