India has had the dubious honour of topping the list of countries which shut down the internet the most number of times last year.

According to the "Shattered Dreams and Lost Opportunities" report by Access Now, a global non-profit that works on digital rights and online freedom, a whopping 109 internet shutdowns were recorded in India last year, out of the 155 global instances of internet disruptions.

This is the third consecutive year India has topped the shameful list.

Next in the latest list is Yemen with just six instances, reported the Times of India.

The Access Now's report surveyed 29 countries which intentionally shut down or slowed the internet in 2020 despite "increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic".

Among the reasons that caused the shutdown include hiding political instability, as a response to communal violence, suppressing opposition groups, thwarting protests and to stop students from cheating during exams.

The justifications given by the government were as a "precautionary measure", in the name of national security, and to stem the spread of misinformation, among others.

The continuous deprivation of 4G internet connection in Jammu and Kashmir, which lasted the entire last year, was also cited in the report.

Access Now reported that at least 17 incidents of internet shutdowns, including in India, were followed by blatant instances of human rights violations and abuse.

According to the report further, the majority of internet shutdowns reported last year were of the telecommunication providers cutting access to communications platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Telegram.

Source: Times of India
Photo source: India Today