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Nepal on First-Ever List of Countries Shutting Down Internet

The report sheds light on the global trend of internet shutdowns.
May 19, 2024
Shutting Down Internet Nepal

Nepal has been included in a new report highlighting countries resorting to internet shutdowns, marking a troubling first for the nation. The report, titled “Shrinking Democracy, Growing Violence,” is published annually by Access Now, a digital rights advocacy group, and Keep It On, an organization campaigning against internet shutdowns.

The report identifies Nepal as a “New Offender” due to its government’s decision to ban the popular video-sharing platform TikTok in October 2023. The government cited concerns about maintaining social harmony for the ban. However, the move has been challenged by 14 separate writ petitions currently pending before the Supreme Court.

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This development places Nepal alongside countries with a history of internet shutdowns, such as Iran, China, and Ethiopia. The report emphasizes the use of internet shutdowns by governments as a tool to “stifle expression, prevent access to important information, and cover up heinous crimes against humanity.”

India, meanwhile, retains its dubious distinction as the world leader in internet shutdowns for the sixth consecutive year. The report reveals a staggering 116 such incidents in India during 2023 alone, resulting in a significant economic impact.

The report sheds light on the global trend of internet shutdowns, with 283 incidents documented across 39 countries in 2023. This represents a 41% increase compared to 2022. The motivations for shutdowns vary, ranging from managing protests and natural disasters to controlling information during elections and examinations.

The inclusion of Nepal in this report raises concerns about its commitment to digital freedom. The ongoing legal challenge to the TikTok ban offers a glimmer of hope for a reversal of this policy and a move towards upholding internet access for its citizens.

Aditya Chaudhary

Aditya Chaudhary is a tech reviewer, Technology enthusiast and Tech news writer at The Ditible. He has 3 years of experience as Tech writer.

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