wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

India signs G7 statement condemning “politically motivated internet shutdowns”

Internet Shutdown
Internet Shutdown

India has signed a Group of Seven (G7) statement condemning, among other things, “politically motivated internet shutdowns,” the Ministry of External Affairs announced. The “politically motivated” qualifier was not present in an earlier statement signed by just the G7 countries’ foreign ministers on May 5.

The “G7 and Guest Countries: 2021 Open Societies Statement” signed by India and other countries read, “As we build back better from the pandemic, we must continue to deliver a better quality of life for our people, with no one left behind. We are at a critical juncture, facing threats to freedom and democracy from rising authoritarianism, electoral interference, corruption, economic coercion, manipulation of information, including disinformation, online harms and cyber attacks, politically motivated internet shutdowns, human rights violations and abuses, terrorism and violent extremism.”

Apart from India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the United States of America and the European Union also signed the statement.

The point of facing threats from cyber attacks and disinformation was also reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who while participating in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit on June 13 said that open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks, and stressed the need to ensure that cyberspace remains an avenue for advancing democratic values and not of subverting them.

India’s role in internet shutdowns a point of contention

The collective of countries had targeted the statement at autocracies, but India’s own prolific role in internet shutdowns was a point of contention. Most notably, the internet was shut down on August 5, 2019 in Kashmir, and lasted until February 5 this year; the restrictions, which were put in place after the abrogation of Section 370 of the constitution which gave Kashmir a special status, were not even lifted in the midst of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The Wire reported that India fought initial drafts of the Open Societies Statement, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foreign minister S Jaishankar implying in publicized remarks that fake news and cyberattacks had to be curbed, but stopped short of saying that these justified internet shutdowns.

The final statement’s “politically motivated” qualifier seems to have been a satisfactory modification to obtain India’s signature. The abrogation of Section 370 was a politically popular move that the BJP has long promised, with almost half the respondents to an ABP C-Voter survey last month of 139,000 people calling it the government’s biggest accomplishment.

“We, the leaders of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the United States of America and the European Union, reaffirm our shared belief in open societies, democratic values and multilateralism as foundations for dignity, opportunity and prosperity for all and for the responsible stewardship of our planet,” the statement opens. The statement affirmed “our respect for international rules and norms relating to,” among other items, “Freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression.”

Also read

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



While the market reality of popular crypto-assets like Bitcoin may undergo little change, the same can't be said for stablecoins.


Bringing transactions related to crypto-assets within the tax net could make matters less fuzzy.


Loopholes in FEMA and the decentralised nature of crypto-assets point to a need for effective regulations.


The need of the hour is for lawmakers to understand the systems that are amplifying harmful content.


For drone delivery to become a reality, a permissive regulatory regime is a prerequisite.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ