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India is widely considered to be a world leader in cutting off access to the Net. Critically discuss the issues and concerns raised against pre-emptive internet shutdowns as a security measure.

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and
social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security.

6. India is widely considered to be a world leader in cutting off access to the Net. Critically discuss
the issues and concerns raised against pre-emptive internet shutdowns as a security measure. (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:
The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), the global tracker for Internet shutdowns, was
inundated with messages of shutdowns across the country — a frequently recurring
phenomenon in India over the past several years. The world’s fastest growing Internet market is
also the global leader by far in cutting off access to small and large sections of its population.
Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the concerns caused due to shut down of internet by the
Government under the garb of maintenance of Internal Security. Further, explain the concerns
faced
Directive word
Critically discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going
through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give
reasons for both for and against arguments. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a
directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction:
Provide a brief outlook on the internet shutdowns in India recently. Discuss about the laws and
the provisions under which it can be applied.
Body:
Discuss the reasons for which the internet shutdown is clamped by authorities
 To stop the unrest or communal violence from perpetuating
 To deter the influence of non-state actors and miscreants in shaping the future course of
unrest.
 And so on.
However, the clampdown of internet has other effects too like:
 curtails the democratic principles and implicitly the fundamental rights of freedom and
liberty
 economic cost to shutdowns is immense: Over the past five years, some 16,000 hours of
Internet shutdowns cost the economy a little over $3 billion
 and so on.
Provide the possible measures to tackle this.
Conclusion:
Give a balanced way forward.