The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology discussed the impact of internet shutdowns earlier today, Chairperson Shashi Tharoor tweeted. As per the schedule, the Committee heard representations from the Union Home Ministry, and state governments of Delhi and Bihar. At least ten members attended the meeting. To curb protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the central government had snapped internet services in the national capital in December 2019. Both Airtel and Vodafone at the time had confirmed that the government had ordered internet shutdown in the part of Delhi NCR along with suspension of voice and SMS services. That was the first internet shutdown in Delhi. Bihar has had its internet services shut down at least 11 times since 2016, as per SFLC.in’s tracker. India has already had 65 internet shutdowns in 2020, not counting the 14-month shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir. So far, 4G internet services have only been restored in two of 20 districts of the new union territory. This is not the first time the Tharoor-led Committee has discussed internet shutdowns. It had discussed the impact of shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir in August. At that time, it had turned into a partisan debate about whether or not restrictions on speed of internet meant an infringement of human rights. For its 2020-21 session, internet shutdowns is one of the key issues that the Committee will discuss. ‘TRPs not calculated in a scientific method,’ members unanimously agree The Committee convened on October 15 to discuss “ethical standards…
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