Info-tech

Internet shutdowns in 2015-16 cost Indian businesses a billion dollars

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on February 08, 2017

internet-shutdowns

Legal organisation SFLC launches website that discloses data on bans since 2013

Delhi-based not-for-profit legal services organisation Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) on Wednesday launched a website ‘internetshutdowns.in’ which provides data related to internet bans in India since 2013.

“Internet shutdowns are a global, not merely an Indian problem. SFLC.in has been working with Access Now on its global campaign to study and reverse the adoption of shutdown policies around the world. We acknowledge their assistance and leadership in this area,” Mishi Choudhary, SFLC.in President and Executive Director, said in a statement.

‘Internetshutdowns.in’ will provide policy makers, academics, media persons and the general public at large with a repository of instances where blanket bans on Internet services, either mobile or fixed line, were imposed in India, the statement said.

As per the internet shut down tracker, the number of shutdowns increased more than two-fold from 14 in 2015 to 30 in 2016, the statement said.

Till date, their data reflects 62 incidents of internet shutdowns across various regions in 12 states in the country, with 30 being reported in 2016 itself, and 4 instances in the first month of 2017, it added.

“The shutdowns in 2015-16 cost Indian businesses an estimated amount of $968 million (₹6,485 crore). As the pace of shutdowns increases, the costs will mount, particularly given the new emphasis on transactions by Internet payment systems linked to Aadhaar,” Choudhary said.

Safeguarding democracy

“In democracies, essential social facilities should not be turned off by the State, which acts in the peoples’ interests,” Choudhary said.

The site hosts a continually-updated ‘Internet Shutdown Tracker for India’ which will offer detailed records of all shutdowns reported since 2013 and presents the data.

It also contains an analysis of the legality of such incidents in the country.

Besides, a study of the shutdown trends in India based on the medium that was restricted, duration of shutdown as well as the nature of the measure whether if it was preventive or reactive in action, it said.





Published on February 08, 2017
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