$8 billion bill- Last year’s Internet shutdowns did cost the global economy a lot


Last year due to the actions of the government, the internet was shut down for around 18,000 hours. The loss for such issue caused around $8 billion loss in the year 2019. In the list of lost internet time, the offenders, Myanmar, India and Chad became the worst affected of all. Iraq, on the other hand, was affected economically and also lost to around an estimated figure of $2.3 billion with 263 hours of disruption or the internet blackouts. These were also the results of social media shutdowns.

Research reports published the results of 122 countries which faced total shutdowns. All got to say one, “in the terms of economics, these disruptions don’t just affect the formal economy but also have some side effects over the informal and especially in the ones which are well-developed nations. It costs them with lasting damage and loss of the investor confidence together with the development which is faltering, making all the estimates to be a conservative one.”

These disruptions or the shutdowns are one affecting or having an impact over the freedom of expression and citizen’s information right. It is one reason for the violence increase, too.

Is this new normal?

Something rare but not anymore, guess it is the new normal. Damages are being caused by same and intentional government activity is one reason for such an increase of uncommon around

It is not much of time but since the last 5 years, these internet shutdowns have outgrown. Government adopting to protests and unrest is one reason for the same.

If we look for what the Freedom House (a non-governmental organization based in Washington) got to say on this, well, the half of the world lives in a place, in a country, where the authorities have for the political reasons disconnected the mobile networks. Stats seem to be too high as it involves half the population around. 

Further, if we look around, the same isn’t limited to the autocratic regimes anymore. Just for example, in the year 2019, India did shut the internet for the citizens partially or entirely due to either of the reasons and this cost around $1.3 billion loss. 

Blackout in Kashmir for more than 158 days and still counting is the longest in this democracy, as per Access now. This did keep a lot of citizens unaware of the fact as to what was going on around and have a voice in for same. As per the reporters from other countries, this was described to be a collective punishment without having even the allegation of the concerned underlying offence.

Such long terms shut down was only seen by the autocratic government of China and Junta-era Myanmar. 

Internet is right under attack

If we look around the province of China, such blackout was made for around a year in the western province of Xinjiang, but still, China isn’t an offender (frequent). For the news, they are much more sophisticated and do not need to shut off the access and this is why they filter what to be done before.

Chinese internet censorship has been an inspiration for many, no matter in many instances such blackouts where a breach of the guaranteed rights by the 1948 Universal declaration of the Human Rights together with the other associated treaties. Even the United Nations affirms for the member states to protect the people access to the internet and let them have freedom of expression, online.

As per the news and reporters, no matter how bad these processes are and impact the economy, there will still be shutdowns in 2020.