Since 2012, India has witnessed 347 internet shutdowns. The longest shutdown in India was for 133 days in 2016 that occurred in J&K after the death of Burhan Wani. Between 2012- 2018, there have been 179 instances of internet shutdown in J&K. Comparatively, the rest of India witnessed 168 net shutdowns in the same period. Internet access in the valley was suspended on August 5th, 2019 once again and yet to be regained.
Internet is declared as a human right by the United Nations Human Rights Council. According to UNESCO, “Internet shutdowns pose a threat to human rights and block the public’s right to know; and have emerged a significant tool of censorship by governments which are increasingly utilizing shutdowns under the guise of security”.
Between 2012-17, India witnessed 16,315 hours of internet shutdown which cost the economy nearly $3 billion.