Internet access, which has started to mean information access in our globalized world, is considered a human right to many. To learn and to share is a privilege that many of us tend to overlook from time to time.
We all experience problems with the internet, and that’s a given. However, you not being able to connect to the internet might actually be related to a governmental shutdown when inspected from the bigger picture.
When we look at the number of shutdowns throughout the years, it seems like internet shutdowns have become the favorite tool for governments and hackers. Dozens of governments have ordered telecoms to turn off web access in neighborhoods, regions, or maybe whole countries.
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Access Now’s #KeepItOn February 2nd, 2020 report shows that dozens of world governments intentionally shut off the internet more than 200 times in 2019. This means that millions of people were affected by the shutdowns worldwide.
There were 213 shutdowns in total. India seems to have had the most shutdowns in 2019, with 121 occasions. Venezuela which is the second country on the list, shut down the internet 12 times. The other countries that follow are Yemen with 11, Iraq 8, Algeria 6, Ethiopia 4, and Russia 3.
This diagram shows the figures in their entirety.
Moreover, it seems that there were at least 14 cases of internet providers slowing down the connection significantly, and the majority of the shutdowns seem to be responses to public protests.
The #KeepItOn is a campaign that reports internet shutdowns from all over the world and it is a publication of Access Now. It should be noted that these numbers rely on reported data. There might be internet shutdowns that have gone unnoticed or unreported. These numbers are subjected to change if and when new information becomes available.