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The government does not count the number of times it turned off the internet in the country | India News

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NEW DELHI: The government does not have data on how many times it ordered the interruption of Internet services in various parts of the country, nor how such bans were beneficial to maintaining law and order, representatives of the ministries of electronics and information technology and home, in addition, the governments of Delhi and Bihar told the permanent parliamentary committee on information technology at its meeting on Friday.
The panel, led by Shashi Tharoor from Congress, sought to learn from the government about the effectiveness of internet shutdowns each time they were implemented. Since the Center and the two states were unable to explain the link between the internet shutdown and what it was seeking to accomplish, the House panel gave them until the end of November to return with data on internet shutdowns, the methodology involved in impose such prohibitions. the objectives to be achieved and how the imposition of such restrictions contributed.
The lack of data comes at a time when India is among the 26 countries with the biggest drop in internet freedom scores in 2020. According to a Freedom House report titled ‘Freedom on the Net 2020: The Pandemic’s Digital Shadow ‘, Internet freedom in India has declined for the third year in a row and government authorities increasingly cut off connectivity to quell protests. The report also said that India is home to more government-imposed internet shutdowns than anywhere else in the world, “justified by the authorities for reasons including the need to counter disinformation, protests, community violence and cheating in the exams “.
During the panel meeting, Bihar said that the Internet restrictions were imposed based on input from local intelligence and reports from district administrations about the possibility of violence or disturbance of the public peace. Delhi said there were no interruptions in the internet supply in the national capital except for four hours during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Law on December 19 last year.
However, none were able to answer specific questions from some members as to whether there was a direct correlation between unrest fueling the Internet, or provide data on whether such cases had increased since the Internet became available in India.

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