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.
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.