…as global cost of internet shutdowns rises by 325% to $23.79 billion
A new report has shown that there were 114 major deliberate Internet outages in 23 countries in 2022.
According to the ‘Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns’ report, the cost of government Internet shutdowns rose by 324.82 per cent from $5.6bn in 2021 to $23.79bn in 2022.
The report also stated that the total hours of government internet disruptions rose by 45 per cent to 50,095 hours in 2022.
A breakdown of the shutdowns said Internet blackouts lasted for 23,097 hours. Internet throttling downtime stood at 134 hours while Social media blocks took a further 26,865 hours.
710 million people affected by deliberate internet outages in 2022, up 41 per cent year-on-year.
Twitter emerged as the most blocked social media platform. The report said Russia was the most affected nation.
The report read in part, “Twitter: the most blocked social media platform, suffering 21,650 hours of deliberate disruption – 56 per cent more than Instagram and 64 per cent more than Facebook. Russia: the single most affected nation ($21.59bn), followed by Iran ($773m) and Kazakhstan ($410.7m).
“Human rights impact: 51 per cent of government internet outages were associated with additional human rights abuses, a 30 per cent decrease compared with 2021: 51 per cent of all internet disruptions were also associated with restrictions on freedom of assembly. Three per cent with election interference and 11 per cent with infringements on freedom of the press.
“There have been 380 major internet shutdowns in 53 countries since 2019. $41.48bn: total cost to the world economy due to government internet outages since 2019. 2021: 51 internet shutdowns in 22 countries lasting 34,595 hours cost $5.62bn. Myanmar’s ruling junta imposed the most damaging internet outages ($2.8bn).
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“2020: 93 internet shutdowns in 21 countries lasting 27,165 hours cost $4.01bn. India imposed the most costly internet outages overall ($2.8bn).
“2019: 134 internet shutdowns in 22 countries lasting 19,207 hours cost $8.07bn. Iraq’s internet outages were the most costly ($2.3bn).”
The report, which calculates the total economic impact of every major deliberate internet outage and social media shutdown around the world, said these outages infringe on citizens’ digital rights and also cause economic self-harm.
Explaining how it calculates the costs of Internet shutdowns, it said, “We monitor every national and region-wide internet outage and social media shutdown imposed by governments around the world in order to determine the duration and extent of the restrictions.
“This allows us to accurately calculate the economic impact of each internet shutdown using the COST tool. This tool was developed by internet monitoring NGO Netblocks. It is based on indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat and US Census.
“In our Cost of Internet Shutdowns reports, we include social media shutdowns, internet blackouts and severe ISP throttling in our calculations.”
According to the report, the economic cost of internet shutdown amounted to $82.7m in Nigeria for 2022. It stated, “The Nigerian government extended the nation-wide Twitter ban, first imposed in June 2021, into January 2022.
“The ban followed the removal of a tweet by President Muhammadu Bihari by Twitter, as it was in breach of the platform’s rules. Although the Nigerian government announced plans to restore Twitter access in October 2021, based on the condition that the social media platform would be used for “business and positive engagement”, the ban would not be lifted until the following January.
“The 222 day-long ban cost the Nigerian economy a total of $1.54bn over the two calendar years.”