Access Now, a non-profit digital rights advocacy group, has released its annual report on global internet shutdowns. The report reveals governments around world increasingly shutting down the internet, often to stifle dissent, and frequently doing so during times of protest or elections.
The annual report, entitled Keep It On, counts a record number of 213 internet shutdowns around the world in 2019. This rapidly rising count grew from 196 in 2018, and only 75 back in 2016.
The technical definition used by Access Now to determine what constitutes an internet shutdown is, “an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information”.