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Internet restored in Patiala after being blocked for eight hours

The shutdown was imposed following clashes in the Punjab district.

The state government of Punjab suspended internet services temporarily in the Patiala district for more than eight hours (9:30 am to 6 pm) on April 30, 2022, as per an order signed by the Principal Secretary of Home Affairs and Justice department Anurag Verma. Verma was informed by the Deputy Commissioner and SP of Patiala that data services could be “grossly misused by certain unscrupulous elements”. The order, passed under Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, led to the suspension of the following: Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) SMS services Dongle services provided on mobile networks; except for voice calls https://twitter.com/NetShutdowns/status/1520383080128991232   India is considered to have the highest number of internet shutdowns in the world and is trigger-happy when it comes to imposing internet shutdowns. But the country fails to acknowledge the economic costs that come with internet shutdowns in India which were estimated to be $582.2 million in 2021 alone. What was the rationale behind the order? Verma, in his order, reasoned that there was a likelihood of tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace & tranquillity due to the recent law and order events in the district. In its judgement, the Supreme Court had held that access to the internet enjoyed constitutional protection as it was a medium to exercise the right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to practice a trade or profession. https://twitter.com/internetfreedom/status/1520265349383409665…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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