Data on internet shutdowns in the country is not centrally maintained, as police and public order are state subjects, the government told Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday. However, as the Delhi Police comes under Ministry of Home Affairs, permissions granted to them for internet shutdowns is maintained by the government.
Further, the same reply says that the government does not maintain information on how internet shutdowns in India compare to similar shutdown globally. "No such authentic information is available with DoT [Department of Telecommunication]", said the reply to a question saying if the government did maintain data comparing Indian shutdown with those globally.
The government did not have any mechanism to ascertain the socio-economic costs of internet shutdowns, according to the answer. It further calls for striking a balance between the use of the internet for good and well-being, and being misused by anti-social elements, which requires the use for internet shutdowns, as assessed by the states.
The response says that the internet shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were due to security concerns the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir as a former state. 4G services were restored to the state on February 4 this year.
The government also said that the Supreme Court mandated the publication of internet suspension orders, extending the principle of proportionality and ensuring that such shutdowns did not extend beyond the necessary duration when it was asked on the steps it had taken to restrict the practice of internet shutdowns.
These questions were asked by Gaurav Gogoi, a Congress Member of Parliament from Kaliabor, Assam. He previously asked a question to the government regarding the framing of the rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The story can be read below, and his question here.
However, this is not the only response where these answers were given, as the same language was used in a response to Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala.
The government also told him that they did not measure socio-economic impacts of internet shutdowns and that law and order were subjects of the state governments.
Read this response here.
Updated On: 2021-08-04T21:10:38+05:30