Governments across the world are increasingly turning to internet shutdowns to control information.
A new study finds that of the nearly 850 shutdowns that occurred over the last decade, 768 have happened since 2016. India’s government was the top offender when it came to shutdowns, with 109 instances last year. Shutdowns happen most often around elections and civil unrest.
“When Internet access is limited or blocked, it not only affects the daily activities of citizens, but also impedes their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, as well as the right to peaceful assembly,” Kenneth Olmstead, a senior advisor to the Internet Society, a nonprofit that advocates for open access to the internet, told Lifewire in an email interview.