India third highest across the world to enforce internet shutdowns

India comes third, after Myanmar and Sudan, in enforcing internet shutdowns in the country according to a report. India also enforced the longest duration of an internet shutdown in 2023 in Manipur.

India witnessed a surge in internet shutdowns during the first half of 2023, and became the second most affected nation globally in 2023, as per Surf Shark’s biannual analysis. Myanmar comes first where internet shutdowns have cost about $793.6 million, making it the most affected nation to date. India and Sudan closely follow behind. According to findings from the tracker Top 10VPN, the country also held the record for the lengthiest internet blackout in terms of user hours. This shutdown took place in the first half of 2023 in Manipur where amidst escalating ethnic tensions and human rights violations between the Kukis and Meiteis in Manipur, the Indian government enforced an internet shutdown which lasted over 5,000 hours in duration throughout the year. This single incident contributed to a staggering total of 7,956 hours of disrupted internet services nationwide, impacting approximately 59.1 million users. The repercussions extended far beyond national borders and reached the global economy and thus caused a loss of about $585 million.

Within this period, India also experienced an internet blackout of 7,812 hours, while social media platforms remained inaccessible for 144 hours. Out of the 42 internet shutdown events recorded worldwide between January 1 and June 30, 2023, nine were concentrated in India. According to the tracker, Jammu and Kashmir saw the biggest number of internet shutdowns numbering at about 433, with Rajasthan coming next at 100, and Manipur coming third at 47 in 2024 alone according to the website

Since 2019, the report notes that over 609 major internet shutdowns have been recorded across 56 countries. This has reportedly contributed to a total loss of about $52.96 billion from the world economy as a direct result of government led internet shutdowns during this period.


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