Special Report

Countries Where the Government Shuts Down the Internet

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4. Sudan
> Internet shutdowns in 2021: 5
> Individuals using the internet: 28.4% of population
> Fixed broadband subscriptions: 0.1 per 100 people
> Total population: 43.8 million

Like Syria and Jordan, Sudan blocks internet access during school exams to prevent students from cheating. But more insidiously, Sudan also periodically throttles or blocks internet and mobile communications during periods of unrest, as it did last October during the country’s military coup.

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3. Iran
> Internet shutdowns in 2021: 5
> Individuals using the internet: 84.1% of population
> Fixed broadband subscriptions: 11.4 per 100 people
> Total population: 84.0 million

Last year, Iran temporarily disrupted mobile phone internet access amid violent water-shortage protests erupted in the southwest of the country. Iranian officials regularly order local internet shutdowns during periods of unrest, and citizens, including journalists and bloggers, are regularly hunted down and arrested for content they post online.

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2. Myanmar
> Internet shutdowns in 2021: 15
> Individuals using the internet: 35.1% of population
> Fixed broadband subscriptions: 1.3 per 100 people
> Total population: 54.4 million

Two months after a military coup in Myanmar in February of last year, internet access was blocked for weeks. The military junta has increased the monitoring and tracking of critics’ online activity, and it routinely orders mobile and wireless providers to temporarily shut down access.

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1. India
> Internet shutdowns in 2021: 106
> Individuals using the internet: 43.0% of population
> Fixed broadband subscriptions: 1.7 per 100 people
> Total population: 1.4 billion

The world’s largest multiparty democracy has in recent years leaned in to Hindu nationalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and it regularly imposes regional internet shutdowns, mostly during times of regional political instability, but also during elections, protests, religious holidays, eruptions of communal violence, and during exam periods to curb students from cheating.

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