Company. Deliberate Internet shutdowns increased by 14% in 2021

“With the gradual return to normalcy following the spread of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a dramatic resurgence of Internet closures in 2021,” the #KeepItOn collective, which groups the group, said in a report released on Thursday. 240 organizations worldwide. The group identified 182 deliberate Internet closures by states in 2021, an increase of 14% from 2020, when there were 159. The closures, however, remain less significant than in 2019 and 2018.

The number of countries affected is also rising: 34 compared to 29 last year.

What types of cuts?

Internet shutdowns occur in a variety of contexts. “The world has seen governments implement cuts during protests, civil unrest, wars and crises,” the group said.

This content is blocked because you did not accept cookies.

By clicking on “I accept”cookies will be stored and you will be able to see their contents .

By clicking on “I accept all cookies”authorize the deposit of cookies for the storage of your data on our sites and applications for personalization and advertising purposes.

You retain the option to withdraw your consent at any time.
Manage my choices

18 governments have imposed Internet blackouts during protests. “Cutting mobile access to suppress public dissent is a growing trend around the world, and these specific cuts were implemented at least 37 times in 2021, compared to 15 the previous year,” laments the collective. #KeepItOn. . Among the countries affected are Bangladesh, Cuba and Sudan.

Another context of cuts, the election periods. During the election, there were seven cuts in six countries (Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Niger, Uganda, Zambia), which the group described as a “disaster for democracy.” However, this is lower than in 2020, when 10 cuts were recorded in seven countries during the election period.

There have also been Internet shutdowns in conflict zones, such as Ethiopia or Israel, or to avoid cheating during exams in Algeria, Iraq or Syria.

Which countries are most affected?

India is the winner of the list of awards, with 106 cuts last year, particularly in the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, between India and Pakistan. Burma ranks second, with 15 cuts in 2021, followed by Iran (5), Sudan (5), Cuba (4) and Jordan (4).

However, the record for the longest Internet outage is held by Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas, which shut down Internet access for 2,026 days, from June 12, 2016 to December 28, 2021.

How to cope?

The group welcomes the condemnations made by the G7 and the United Nations against these Internet closures and restrictions on network access, as well as an intensification of legal action to challenge the legality of suspensions in several African countries. But he stressed the “need for collective efforts by various actors worldwide” to “monitor and document the cuts”, which is essential to alert the public and hold those responsible responsible for their actions.

On Thursday, 55 countries, including the United States, France, Canada, Britain and Ukraine, launched an initiative to protect a safe, free Internet from the rise of authoritarian governments: a “statement for the future of the Internet.” . This statement is not legally binding, but it sets out “fundamental principles” and commits governments to promoting an “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet for the world,” according to a senior U.S. government official.

Leave a Comment