In the first half of 2023, Pakistan was ranked the third highest country in the world for imposing restrictions on the internet. This information comes from a report by a company called Surfshark, which makes a tool to protect people’s online privacy. During this time, Pakistan put three new restrictions on the internet, out of a total of 42 new restrictions worldwide.
These restrictions were put in place after the arrest of the former prime minister, Imran Khan, on May 9. As a result, access to popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube was limited in the country. There were also temporary disruptions in the cell phone networks.
The report shows that Iran and India had more internet restrictions than Pakistan during this period, making Pakistan the third highest in the world. Iran had the most disruptions, with 14 cases, mainly because of protests over the Zahedan massacre.
India followed closely with at least nine cases, most of which happened during protests. Two of the shutdowns in India were in ‘Jammu and Kashmir,’ and the Indian government supposedly ordered them.
This brought India’s total to 11 instances of internet shutdowns in the first half of 2023.
The report also mentioned that the main reason for these government-imposed internet restrictions was protests. More than two-thirds of the new disruptions were a result of people expressing their anger over social and political issues.