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Rajasthan govt reviewed only 11 out of 40 internet shutdowns

The Rajasthan state government set up only 11 review committees for 40 internet shutdowns ordered between July last year upto May 2018. This was revealed in an RTI filed by the Software Law Freedom Centre (SFLC). There were no review meetings for why the other 29 internet bans were ordered in the state, violating the internet shutdown rules which provide that such a committee should be convened within 5 days of each shutdown. The Rajasthan State Home Department further refused to disclose the minutes of meeting of 5 out of these 11 review committees. In the rest of the 6 instances of internet bans, the state found the bans appropriate for prevailing circumstances to maintain law and order, and keep public safety and harmony. Rule (6) of the  Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017. (6) The Review Committee shall meet within five working days of issue of directions for suspension of services due to public emergency or public safety and record its findings whether the directions issued under sub-rule (1) are in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 5 of the said Act. Note that the government initially denied this information calling it classified information relating to national security. On an appeal filed by the SFLC, the state government failed to give a "satisfactory reply (to) for refusal to grant the information sought" and "vaguely rejected the appeal by giving unsubstantiated reasons." On the second appeal, the State Information Commission of…

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