Inside Story

Will internet shutdowns become the norm?

Rights groups criticise increasing use of online disruptions to suppress dissent.

Internet shutdowns are not new, but rights activists say governments are using the tactic more often to suppress dissent.

Myanmar’s army has routinely cut online access since it overthrew the country’s democratically elected government in a February 1 coup.

Twitter, meanwhile, is refusing the Indian government’s order to remove 1,100 accounts accused of encouraging violent protests against new farm laws.

And China has blocked Clubhouse, an audio app which gave Chinese online users a glimpse of uncensored discussion of sensitive topics.

So what are the social and economic costs of internet shutdowns? And can tech companies fight back?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Alp Toker – Founder and director of the internet monitoring organisation NetBlocks

Marc Owen Jones – Assistant professor of digital humanities, Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Matthew Bugher – Head of the Asia Programme at ARTICLE 19, an organisation that promotes freedom of expression and information