The Government of India taking clear action to prevent internet shutdowns? No, not really

Press reports have revealed that the Union Government’s Department of Telecom has issued rules on governing network disruptions or internet shutdowns in India. Titled the “Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017” and issued by the Centre under Section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act, they were quietly published in the Gazette of India earlier this month on August 7. Quite simply, they provide a legal mechanism under which the internet can be turned off. This is a change from the earlier situation when there was no clear legal power for the regular internet shutdowns taking place across states in India.

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