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Weapons of control, shields of impunity: Internet shutdowns in 2022

accessnow: “From Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, authorities are imposing internet shutdowns at staggering rates. In 2022 alone, governments and other actors disrupted the internet at least 187 times across 35 countries — breaking our #KeepItOn record for the number of countries to hit the kill switch in a single year. Not only are shutdowns resurging after a decrease at the height of the pandemic, they’re lasting longer, targeting specific populations, and are being wielded when people need a connection the most — including during humanitarian crises, mass protests, and active conflict and war…All internet shutdowns violate human rights. In 2022, 133 of the 187 total shutdowns occurred alongside some form of violence, compared to 112 in 2021, 99 in 2020, and 75 in 2019. In some contexts, like Iran, authorities responded to protests with brutal crackdowns and internet shutdowns, and in other contexts, such as during conflicts and war, governments, warring parties, or military regimes deployed shutdowns in apparent attempts to hide human rights and humanitarian law violations such as murder, torture, rape, and other war crimes. Missile strikes led to 15 shutdowns in 2022 — 14 launched by the Russian military on cities across Ukraine and one launched by Saudi-led coalition forces on a telecommunications facility in Yemen…”

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