Infographic

India Is the World’s Leader in Internet Shutdowns

New Delhi clamps down on internet access in Kashmir as it moves to limit the troubled region’s constitutional autonomy.

Protestors and activists belonging to the Alternative Law Forum and other left wing organizations take part in a protest in Bangalore on August 5, 2019, in reaction to the Indian government scrapping Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. (MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors and activists belonging to the Alternative Law Forum and other left wing organizations take part in a protest in Bangalore on August 5, 2019, in reaction to the Indian government scrapping Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. (MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mobile and broadband services were shut down in India-administered Kashmir over the weekend, preceding an announcement by the Indian government to strip the region of its limited autonomy.

There is precedent for the government’s move: Internet service was suspended 53 times in the Jammu and Kashmir region so far this year. As indicated in the chart below, the number of shutdowns in Jammu and Kashmir more than doubled each year from 2015 to 2018—and is on track to increase once again this year.



Thanks in large part to Kashmir, the region with the most shutdowns, India has suspended the internet around the country 159 times in the past three years. As seen in the chart below, India recorded more internet shutdowns between January 2016 and June 2018 than Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, and Iran combined.

Mobile and broadband services were shut down in India-administered Kashmir over the weekend, preceding an announcement by the Indian government to strip the region of its limited autonomy.

There is precedent for the government’s move: Internet service was suspended 53 times in the Jammu and Kashmir region so far this year. As indicated in the chart below, the number of shutdowns in Jammu and Kashmir more than doubled each year from 2015 to 2018—and is on track to increase once again this year.



Thanks in large part to Kashmir, the region with the most shutdowns, India has suspended the internet around the country 159 times in the past three years. As seen in the chart below, India recorded more internet shutdowns between January 2016 and June 2018 than Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, and Iran combined.


  Twitter: @seekayhickey

More from Foreign Policy

Volker Perthes, U.N. special representative for Sudan, addresses the media in Khartoum, Sudan, on Jan. 10.

Sudan’s Future Hangs in the Balance

Demonstrators find themselves at odds with key U.N. and U.S. mediators.

In an aerial view, traffic creeps along Virginia Highway 1 after being diverted away from Interstate 95 after it was closed due to a winter storm.

Traffic Jams Are a Very American Disaster

The I-95 backup shows how easily highways can become traps.

Relatives and neighbors gather around a burned vehicle targeted and hit by an American drone strike in Kabul.

The Human Rights vs. National Security Dilemma Is a Fallacy

Advocacy organizations can’t protect human rights without challenging U.S. military support for tyrants and the corrupt influence of the defense industry and foreign governments.

un-sanctions-inspectors-china-foreign-policy-illustration

The Problem With Sanctions

From the White House to Turtle Bay, sanctions have never been more popular. But why are they so hard to make work?