Internet Shutdowns in India Cost USD 2 Billion to Economy

Internet shutdowns by law enforcement agencies in several parts of the country have caused a loss of about $1.9 billion (about Rs 15,590 crore) to the economy in the first half of the current year. The internet was shut down in the country’s northeastern state of Manipur due to the ongoing violence over the past few months. Earlier, internet was banned in Punjab due to fear of violence.

International non-profit organization Internet Society has told in its report ‘Netloss’ that the internet shutdown has also caused a loss of about 118 million dollars of foreign investment. Factors such as changes in the unemployment rate, loss of foreign direct investment (FDI) and working-age population were included to assess the financial impact of the shutdown. The report states, “Governments often mistakenly believe that internet shutdowns will prevent the spread of tension, misinformation or reduce cyber security threats, but shutdowns cause huge damage to the economy. ”

Along with this, it has been told in the report that due to regular use of shutdown to maintain law and order in India, the risk of shutdown this year is 16 percent. Internet shutdowns lead to disruption of e-commerce, increase in unemployment and financial and credit risk for companies. The Internet Society made it clear several years ago that it was against shutdowns. It urged governments to avoid shutdowns because it harms the economy, civil society and internet-connected infrastructure. Internet shutdown cases are continuously increasing in India. Internet shutdowns are often imposed in states to prevent tension and violence over an issue. Due to this, people find it difficult in many important tasks.

Andrew Sullivan, President and Chief Executive of the Internet Society, said: “The increasing number of internet shutdowns around the world shows that governments are ignoring the negative consequences of undermining the need to keep the internet open, accessible and secure. Is doing.”

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