G7 accommodates Indian stand on the need for “Internet shutdown”

What is the News?

The G7 countries statement on the Internet Shutdown was amended after India objected to the original language criticising “Internet shutdowns”.

Internet Shutdowns all over the world:
  • According to a report by digital rights and privacy organisation Access Now, of the total 155 internet shutdowns globally in 2020, India alone accounted for 109.
  • The next highest Internet Shutdowns was in Yemen, with six. It was followed by Ethiopia with four.
Examples of Internet Shutdowns in India:
  • Jammu and Kashmir had Internet and mobile telephony shutdown since Article 370 was amended in 2019.
  • Internet shutdowns were also witnessed in Delhi during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act during 2019-2020 and the farmer’s protest in 2020.

Read Also :-The value of the SC’s Kashmir order

What was the original G7 statement on Internet Shutdown?
  • The G7 Countries had issued a statement expressing concerns over actions by states to intentionally disrupt their own populations’ access to data online.
  • The statement noted that internet shutdowns had undermined civic space both online and offline. They also noted that the shutdowns unjustifiably limited access to information and the rights of peaceful assembly, association and freedom of expression online.
  • Moreover, the statement also referred to “Politically Motivated Internet Shutdowns” which indirectly addresses Internet blackouts in various parts of the world including India.
What were India’s objections to the G7 statement?
  • India has asked for a change in the original language criticising “Internet shutdowns”.
  • Further, India has objected to the Politically Motivated Internet Shutdowns. India has also said that national security and public order concerns as an exception should be added to the statement.
Was the G7 statement on Internet shutdown changed then?
  • Yes, it was changed. The statement clarified that Internet shutdowns to protect the national security and public order concerns as an exception to the need for Internet freedoms.

Source: The Hindu

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