In this modern era of technology, the Internet is a global network connecting millions of computers. One networking system has linked about 200 countries for exchange data, news, views, information, and opinions. About 44% of the world’s population is evaluated to be internet users. The highest numbers come from countries like America, China, and India.
There is no doubt that the Internet has become one of the greatest needs of everyone’s life. The communication ways and the way of living of human beings have transformed. It has enclosed the entire world in a box where everything is accessible. Internet is another discovery.
Not only has the Internet made communications technology more universal and affordable, but it has also provided a whole new platform for self-expression bundled with elements of decentralization and anonymity, making it one of the most powerful tools for political discourse in the 21st century.
But, do you know about “How Internet shutdown affects our life”?
According to a report, between 2013 and 2016, access to the public Internet has been blocked 10 times across five Indian states.
In addition, annual instances of “internet shutdown” increased from one in 2014 to three in 2015 and six in 2016. The worst scenario has been seen in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of that state saw the most considerable number of shutdowns, with five instances over 2014, 2015, and 2016.
When most shutdowns were established in the interest of maintaining cyber law and order under the threat of widespread violence, the process followed remains shrouded in indecision.
Despite a detailed procedure laid down by the Indian Information Technology Act to block public access to online content under specified circumstances, it is often omitted in the goodwill of blanket shutdowns.
It may be easier to implement in the short term but come with collateral damage in terms of non-access to essential services that highly depend on the Internet for their functioning.
At a national level, Internet Freedom offers the below:
Internet shutdowns are an absolute restriction placed on the use of internet services due to an order issued by a government body. It may be limited to a specific place and period, time, or several days. Sometimes it can even extend indefinitely.
For example, an internet shutdown may be limited to mobile Internet that you use on smartphones or the wired broadband that usually connects a desktop – or both at the same time.
What is an Internet shutdown?
There are various definitions of Internet shutdown in a state or a country. Similar terms are blackouts, kill switches, digital curfews, etc. The real meaning of the terms is the deliberate disruption of the Internet and relevant services. The aim is to control information received and sent by a group of people, by place or other characteristics.
Below are a set of examples – the one provided by access now is perhaps the most frequently cited:
“An internet shutdown happens when someone, usually a government, intentionally disrupts the internet or mobile apps to control what people say or do. Shutdowns are also sometimes called “blackouts” or “kill switches”. “
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Now also offers a technical definition: “An internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information.”
With the advent of technology, there are high social and economic expenses for repeated and prolonged suspension of Internet connectivity. The government could do worse than reconsideration the efficiency and desirability of using it as a tool to curb dissent or maintain stability.
How Internet shutdown affects our life?
Modern people are entirely dependent on the Internet. The Internet has infinite advantages in our daily life. Its pros start with Google or other search engines, ensuring we search anything or everything.
The most critical factor is students are highly dependent on online learning. Due to COVID 19, children and senior students can’t attend classes physically, and they totally are dependent on online courses.
If the internet shuts down for some hours, it will affect their learning lessons. That’s unfortunate but happens in various developing countries like India. With internet support, no student, who is accessible to the Internet, is left behind due to a lack of study material or guidance.
Internet is a source of information about every kind of subject. There are online lectures of topmost teachers and professors of every subject available on the Internet, which any learner could access. Also, teachers and professors can deliver their online classes to their students sitting across the world through video conferences from one place at a time.
These all things have made the Internet a boon in academics. The Internet plays a vital role in integrating or exchanging cultures of the world. It has enabled us to reach out to the culture of any part of the world.
Governments of many countries use the Internet to promote their culture. Information about heritages or wonders of the world is readily available on the Internet.
If the Internet is just blocked for a few hours, the whole social networking site will be shut down. Social networking is one of the significant advantages of the Internet.
The social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, etc., have made this whole world a united place. Such sites are also helping people in finding their jobs, professions, and other businesses. E-businesses through social media sites are the hotcakes right now. Hence, the sites have become the best friends of modern people.
Internet helps find nearby coffee stores, restaurants, police stations, petrol pumps, hospitals, etc. Some mobile phone operators and text messaging would be unavailable for the commoner.
In addition, all mobile apps and social networking sites would be down, cloud storage would be unreachable, pending electronic payments would fail, and more severe failures.
Primitively, some television broadcasts sent via broadcast towers would still be accessible via an antenna. Those signals were analog by that time. But now, most channels are digital, and it would lose the signal if the Internet breaks down. Any electrical grids that operate on a smart grid would fail, causing power outages on top of the internet outages.
White-collar jobs such as engineers, IT/software developers, academics, lawyers, media persons, and more will shut down the Internet because most people are still working from home.
For them, an internet shutdown for the day would be the equivalent of a “snow day” from work or school.
Blue-collar professions and large institutions, both in the U.S. and around the world that rely on the Internet for day-to-day functions would be crippled.
The rise of mobile banking makes sense for regular users. Why waste your lunch break standing in line to deposit a check when you can do it any time of day electronically? But how could they be affected by an internet shutdown?
With the Internet down, you wouldn’t be able to use any of your financial/baking apps, so you’d have to show up at the bank to make any transactions. Additionally, anything you have set up to pay electronically wouldn’t go through if the Internet went down on the day it was scheduled.
The Internet has enabled us to make online payments of phone bills, electricity bills, etc. Moreover, people can book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes with just by few clicks.
Online shopping is another column which is getting hike these days. Internet is a huge source of entertainment. Movies, songs, and videos are available here on the Internet.
It has every information about music, songs and movies like upcoming, newly released and hit ones.
While all online businesses and sectors would suffer if there were an internet shutdown, small businesses may suffer the most with lost potential clients and daily revenue, damaged equipment, data loss on computers, decreased inventory turnover, and more. The Internet and Internet of kinds of stuff have assisted in optimizing small businesses by improving supply chain management and credit card payments, processing debit and marketing themselves online, managing electronic payments processing.
The Internet has shaped lots of jobs and hence, limited the problem of unemployment in the world. Internet’s achievements are phenomenal. It is like a magical power with magical rays of information, and those exposed to these rays experience a transformation in their lives.
It’s unlikely that the entire world’s Internet would communally go down at once for the whole of a day. The circumstances that would result in a planetary internet outage are things including a massive cyberattack, cyber hacks, asteroid collision, global diplomacy war, or a conspiracy. Hope this blog will help you to use the Internet fruitfully. Students shouldn’t misuse the power of the Internet and use it wisely while studying.