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3 Tamil Nadu districts shut both broadband and mobile internet down

In the Tamil Nadu districts of Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli, both mobile and broadband internet has been shut down for five days, the PTI reports. MediaNama was able to confirm with a BSNL representative that both broadband and mobile internet have been shut down, across both private operators as well as BSNL. "Not even fiber internet will work," a BSNL representative said. It is highly unusual for any government-ordered internet shutdown to include mobile data as well as broadband. Even in Kashmir, state-owned BSNL broadband usually works during shutdowns. All internet communications in these three districts have effectively been short-circuited. The government ordered this shutdown to stop "half truths and anti-social elements" in the aftermath of police shootings that resulted in the deaths of 13 people. The police were shooting protesters who were opposing the expansion of Sterlite's copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi. According to the Software Freedom Law Centre's Internet shutdown tracker, this is Tamil Nadu's first internet shutdown. A. Shankar, who runs the Tamil/English blog Savukku, cited sources as saying that not even ATMs and POS machines are working. The shutdown will last until Sunday. https://twitter.com/savukku/status/999491229975920641 The order Last year, the telecom department released rules to regulate "Temporary Suspension of Internet Services", which gave authority to high-level bureaucrats within both Central and State governments to order internet shutdowns. The shutdown in Tamil Nadu was ordered under these rules, by Dr. Niranjan Mardi, a state government bureaucrat in Chennai. https://twitter.com/anna_isaac/status/999288045647081473 Just five months into 2018, there have been 54 internet…

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