India had more Internet shutdowns in 2016 than any other country.
State governments were able to shut down the Internet in different parts of the country, affecting millions of people. What’s worse is that these shutdowns happened on some official’s whim with no accountability or oversight.
Internet shutdowns are not only a violation of human rights, they also cost India more than Rs.6000 crores per year. We need to ensure that 2017 sees serious pushback against this practice.
Sign the petition telling Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Ministry that Internet shutdowns have no place in a democracy and must be under strict control. We’re gathering as many signatures as possible till 15th May, which we’ll deliver to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries for Home, Telecom, and IT with a formal request to frame new laws to regulate and minimise Internet shutdowns.
State governments justify Internet shutdowns by citing reasons ranging from preventing protests and riots, to stop exam cheating. But there’s evidence that shows that shutdowns do more harm than good. In 2016, the Bangalore police effectively used Twitter and WhatsApp during the Kaveri river riots to prevent panic and highlight police presence in volatile areas.
Then why do Internet shutdowns continue? When governments shut down the Internet, the real objective is to silence journalists and citizens from criticising the government.
Internet shutdowns are unnecessary, harmful, and have no place in a democracy. Watch All India Bakchod's video on Internet shutdowns and join the campaign by filling in your details on the left and signing the petition.