Just like us, sometimes the government does not wake up to the first-morning alarm. But we ask the Ministry of Telecom to stop pressing the snooze button on the issue of Internet Shutdowns. Network disruptions require urgent policy and legal intervention. When we launched, KeepUsOnline campaign more than 16,000 people and 100 organisations clearly communicated to the Government that they damage and undermine their fundamental rights, growing digitisation and cause massive economic losses.
Last month, we put these concerns on record to various government ministries. The Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Electronics & IT have acknowledged our demands by transferring them to the Ministry of Telecom. But still, we are yet to receive any substantive reply from the DOT and have today written a follow-up letter to them.
Over this past month the right to the internet of our friends across India has been disrupted; Kashmir Valley, Saharanpur, Aligarh, Aurangabad, among others. Our knowledge is limited and based on press reports -- we can't be sure where all the internet was cut off as no official count or a data-set is available. While we continue to ask for a coordinated government action, a response from the Ministry of Telecom is an important first step.
Raman Jit Singh Chima, co-founder and volunteer at, IFF said, “Internet shutdowns undermine fundamental rights and also wreck the digital economy. In January itself the total transaction value reached 1.11 billion, a rise of 4.73% from December ’17. While more Indians are relying on the internet for their bread and butter, there is an alarming spike in Internet shutdowns. This calls for an urgent policy intervention. According to a recent study by ICRIER, they have risen from 70 in 2017 to already 42 internet blackouts in 2018. While we continue to believe that this requires action by various government ministries with leadership from the Prime Minister’s Office, we hope the Ministry of Telecom urgently speaks up on this issue and supports #KeepUsOnline.”
Link to our correspondence:
- Our original representation on April 20 click here
- Responses from the PMO click here and MeitY click here
- Our letter to the DOT on May 22, 2018 click here
Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) is a non-profit organisation that supports and advocates for a free and open Internet. We are a group of volunteers from the SaveTheInternet.in movement. We come from all over India, from different backgrounds and fields, including technology, law, policy, design, journalism. We aim to promote the rights of Internet users – freedom of speech, privacy, net neutrality and freedom to innovate.
- Raman Jit Singh Chima, Trustee and Co-Founder (9717653293; [email protected]);
- Aravind Ravi Sulekha, Trustee and Co-Founder ([email protected]);
Internet Freedom Foundation online: