We all rely on the internet for our day-to-day lives. Yet, at the height of protests, governments around the world can shut down their citizens’ access to the web. BBC News looked into where, and why, this happened during 2019.
When the internet shuts down, everything is stopped in its tracks. Data shared with the BBC by digital rights group Access Now, shows that last year services were deliberately shut down more than 200 times in 33 separate countries. This includes, on one occasion, in the UK. In April 2019 the British Transport Police shut down the wi-fi on London’s Tube network during a protest by climate change activists Extinction Rebellion. Also revealed in the report about shutdowns in 2019: The internet was switched off during 65 protests in various countries around the world. A further 12 took place during election periods. The majority of all shutdowns occurred in India. The longest internet switch-off happened in Chad, central Africa, and lasted 15 months.
Check It Out: What Happens When The Government Blocks Internet Access?