The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2024 - 10:55 AM

In many countries, the drastic step of shutting down the internet is employed in response to actual or potential unrest. Shutdowns generally occur when someone (usually a government) intentionally disrupts the internet or social media networks. The measure has been widely criticized as too drastic a curbing of freedom of expression and an encroachment of peoples' everyday lives especially if it is done to shut down dissent.

As Statista's Katharinia Buchholz reports, Egypt's 2011 revolution and the failed Turkish military coup of 2016 are prime examples of internet shutdowns employed in this way.

In India - the country that cuts internet access the most - shutdowns have in the past clustered in Kashmir and Rajasthan, where they have been used during protests (and preemptively when protests were expected), but also during exams. In 2023, ethnic tensions in Manipur state led to most targeted shutdowns employed by the government.

All 2023 Indian internet blockages and shutdowns affected around 59 million people for a total of almost 8,000 hoursthe highest in the world when combined according to Top10VPN. In Ethiopia, Myanmar and Iran, the suppression of dissent, protest and in one instant the Orthodox church, have caused almost equally long user hours of internet blocks.

Infographic: The Countries Shutting Down the Internet the Most | Statista

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Across the world, internet shutdowns and deliberate slowdowns have become more common once again.

Given how important the internet is in everyday life, limiting access to it can have financial consequences.

In Russia, Ethiopia and Myanmar, the huge number of shutdowns and their length are getting very expensive. Top10VPN found that around 1,350 hours of intentional internet downtime and targeted blocks in 2023 have cost the Russian economy $4 billion.