On 6th December 2017, MediaNama held a discussion in Delhi, on the Impact of Internet Shutdowns, with support from Facebook. The following is part 1 of notes based on the first of these discussions. Read part 2 here. How does an internet shutdown happen, and why do government officials take that route? Internet shutdowns in India generally tend to happen with little clear due process, or at least they did until the government issued rules on shutdowns earlier this year. Aakash Hassan, a part of 101Reporters, an initiative to connect grassroots journalists to larger publications, explained: "There are three categories of Internet channels. One is prepaid mobile internet service, other is postpaid, and the next one is broadband and leased lines. Most of the people in Kashmir use prepaid internet services." The prepaid mobile networks mostly provided in Kashmir by private operators like Airtel, are usually the first to go in any conflict. "Whenever anything happens, there’s any extraordinary situation, the first casualty is internet," Hassan said. "Mostly prepaid mobile services are shut — except BSNL — BSNL is also shut down, but at the last stage. Broadband works mostly, they just reduce speed or briefly shut it down. Government use leased lines provided to offices, army uses a separate network which isn’t linked to private networks. The operator said, 'okay, I'll shut it down' But the actual process of getting an Internet provider to shut the Internet down borders on human right violations. Some journalists described how the police would…
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