Around the world, shutting down the internet has become an increasingly popular tactic of repressive and authoritarian regimes and some illiberal democracies. Digital rights groups say governments use them to stifle dissent, silence opposition voices or cover up human rights abuses, raising concerns about restricting freedom of speech.
Regimes often cut online access in response to protests or civil unrest, particularly around elections, as they try to keep their grip on power by restricting the flow of information, researchers say. It’s the digital equivalent of seizing control of the local TV and radio station that was part of the pre-internet playbook for despots and rebels.
“Internet shutdowns have been massively underreported or misreported over the years,” said Alp Toker, founder of internet monitoring organization Netblocks. The world is “starting to realize what’s happening,” as documenting efforts like his expand, he said.
Last year there were 93 major internet shutdowns in 21 countries, according to a report by Top10VPN, a U.K.-based digital privacy and security research group. The list doesn’t include places like China and North Korea, where the government tightly controls or restricts the internet. Shutdowns can range from all-encompassing internet blackouts to blocking social media platforms or severely throttling internet speeds, the report said.
Internet cuts have political, economic, and humanitarian costs, experts warned. The effects are exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns that are forcing activities like school classes online.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
PENTAGON RECONSIDERING HUGE JEDI CLOUD COMPUTING CONTRACT
The Pentagon is reconsidering how to make a massive shift to cloud computing, officials said Monday, suggesting it could scrap the so-called JEDI contract potentially worth $10 billion that was awarded to Microsoft Corp. but is mired in legal challenges.
GERMAN WATCHDOG BANS FACEBOOK FROM PROCESSING WHATSAPP DATA
TESLA TO STOP ACCEPTING BITCOIN FOR CAR PAYMENTS
Electric car maker Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as a payment, CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday, citing environmental concerns.
CHINA SAYS XIAOMI REMOVAL FROM U.S. BLACKLIST “BENEFICIAL”
China’s commerce ministry on Thursday welcomed the removal of Xiaomi Corp. from a U.S. government blacklist, a day after the U.S. reversed a ban on U.S. investments in the smartphone maker that was imposed under former President Donald Trump.
KENTUCKY PLANT BENEFITING FROM LATEST APPLE INVESTMENT
Apple deepened its ties to a Kentucky plant on Monday by awarding another $45 million to support Corning Inc.’s work to supply glass for the tech giant’s iPhones and other devices.
FACEBOOKBACKED DIGITAL CURRENCY PROJECT DIEM SHIFTS TO US
A once-ambitious Facebook-backed digital currency project — formerly known as Libra, now called Diem — is shifting operations from Switzerland to the U.S. and said it plans to launch a cryptocurrency tied to the U.S. dollar later this year.
JAPANESE TYCOON PLANNING SPACE STATION VISIT, THEN MOON TRIP
The Japanese fashion tycoon who’s booked a SpaceX ride to the moon is going to try out the International Space Station first.
AMAZON WINS EU COURT FIGHT OVER $300 MILLION TAX RULING
In the latest setback to European Union efforts to tackle corporate tax avoidance, a court on Wednesday annulled a ruling by the European Commission that a tax deal between Amazon and Luxembourg’s government amounted to illegal state support.
BIDEN SIGNS ORDER TO BEEF UP FEDERAL CYBER DEFENSES
President Joe Biden signed an executive order meant to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defenses in response to a series of headline-grabbing hacking incidents that highlight how vulnerable the country’s public and private sectors are to high-tech spies and criminals operating from half a world away.
ALIBABA RECORDS FIRST QUARTERLY OPERATING LOSS SINCE IPO
Alibaba had its first quarterly operating loss since it went public in 2014 after Beijing slapped a record $2.8 billion fine on the nation’s largest e-commerce company for abusing its market position.
When the Signal Goes Out
Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent
Thanaka Color Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a mystical country centered among Southeast Asia's more common destinations, yet still remaining relatively unknown. After many years of isolation, Myanmar has only recently opened up to the outside world. The magnificent land is also known as the Golden Land.
Kids can serve their world
Shaun McKinley International Children’s Ministries Director CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES
Revelations Within Myanmar Amber And Meteor Showers
Golden-hued amber is often used in the jewelry business to craft wonderful treasures in the forms of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
Ayeyarwady- A River Through Time
A journey up Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady river from Mandalay to the far northern trading town of Bhamo, near the Chinese border.
Top Destinations Around The World For Wine Lovers
Destinations around the world woo wine lovers with tastings, tours and vinotherapy.
Bangladesh Has A Lot To Prove
With her nation newly behind her, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is looking abroad for new opportunities.
IN THIS AGE OF JOURNALISTIC SPIN-DOCTORS WITH FANCY NAME-CARDS
The medium is the message, Canadian Marshal McLuhan wrote in 1964. That was when the medium was not as complicated. You had print, radio and TV. That was about it.
Shelter Across the Border
Mizoram has been taking in refugees who have fled Myanmar after the coup in February
G7 Foreign Ministers condemn violence against Myanmar protestors
The Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, and the High Representative of the European Union have firmly condemned violence by Myanmar's security forces against peaceful protests.