SFLC.in is organising a two day event “Time To Let The Net Work” on July 15-16, 2021. The event aims to take forward the fight to #LetTheNetWork, a fight that aims to stop Internet shutdowns globally. We intend to bring together individuals and representatives from various civil society organisations, academia as well as legislators from around the globe to discuss and collaborate in the fight to battle the Kill switch.
The recording of the panels are available at:
1. Buffering Democracy: India and it’s Internet Shutdowns : https://youtu.be/I40DtrbClNo
2. Geopolitics and the Internet : The Role technology plays in global issues: https://youtu.be/t9JdFdc819s
3. Open Societies and their desires to close communications: mapping and fighting the Internet Shutdowns around the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDf1h7lZfc
The report of the event can be found below:
As every aspect of the human life is increasingly becoming dependent on the Internet, the Governments all around the globe have started to realise it’s potential and are trying to control this information highway by enacting laws and regulations that throttle the Internet as per their will. India has become infamous for constantly controlling the information highway aka the Internet. There is a sharp rise in the rules and regulations that the nation states are imposing on the Internet which range from restricting access to complete shutting down of the Internet. A practice that started in 2012 in India as a measure to curb violence and unrest in conflict-ridden areas has now become the first response from the government for matters ranging from peaceful protests to cheating in exams and even to mitigating tensions during a highly anticipated wrestling match. In a year that showcased the true potential of the Internet in ensuring continuity in both daily activities and emergency response and press for safeguards to ensure that people across the globe are well-connected, India again stayed on top of the Internet Shutdown charts with over 120 shutdowns in 2020. Even thought the intentional internet disruptions around the world cost the global economy billions of dollars every year, the trend of controlling the internet has been on the rise and so have Internet Shutdowns.
The impact of this is massive: people’s access to health care services, education, and essential communication was completely disrupted due to these blackouts.
Unfortunately, none of this data is maintained by Governments and the onus of fighting against shutdowns and even tracking them falls to the civil society.
The question that arises here is whether the kill switch used by the Governments is justifiable in any circumstance especially during a pandemic. This event brings together experts from various civil society organisations, academia as well as legislators from around the globe to discuss and collaborate in the fight to battle the Kill switch.