The world’s most populous democracy is now also the world leader in internet shutdowns. India has imposed hundreds of internet blackouts in different parts of the country over the past few years, including cutting off connectivity throughout the disputed state of Kashmir for six months.
Home to over 12 million people, the region has suffered tremendously as a result—unemployment has spiked and over $1 billion in economic losses have been attributed to the blackout. Internet speed limits and other restrictions remain active, making many online services virtually unusable and the road to recovery even longer—especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
For the September/October issue of MIT Technology Review, journalist and author Sonia Falerio explains how India became the internet shutdown capital of the world. This week on Deep Tech, she joins our editor-in-chief, Gideon Lichfield, to discuss why backlash from a controversial citizenship bill prompted the government to cut online communications.