It seems that the Ministry of Communications, on August 7th 2017, issued (and notified) rules for shutting of telecom services - and by extension, the shutting down of Internet services in India. The notification for the rules is available here, issued under the Telegraph Act. The Lowdown 1. Who can issue such an order? Central government: The Secretary, Home Ministry, can issue an order to the Secretary of the Home Department of the state, in case of an order by Government of India. In unavoidable circumstances, this might be issued by a Joint Secretary (or of a rank above) authorised by the Union Home Secretary, and will be subject to a review from the the Union Home Secretary within 24 hours. State Government: The Secretary to the State Government in-charge of the Home Department can issue an order in the case of a State Government. In unavoidable circumstances, this might be issued by Joint Secretary authorised by the State Home Secretary, subject to the review of the State Home Secretary within 24 hours. 2. How the orders will be conveyed to telecom operators / ISPs Telecom operators, ISPs and "telegraph authority" (seriously?) need to have designated officers in every licensed service area, State or Union territory, to receive and handle orders for shutdowns. They'll be sent orders by "an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police or of the equivalent rank" 4. How will the order be reviewed? The issued order will have to be sent to a review committee within…
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