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Internet access, social media shutdowns cost world over US$8bil in 2019

The entire financial price of main Web entry and social media shutdowns world wide topped US$8bil (RM32.73bil) final yr, in keeping with a brand new report, which predicted that these disruptions would proceed amid ongoing political turmoil.

There have been 122 such shutdowns, with a complete period of 18,225 hours, that occurred in 21 international locations final yr, in keeping with information printed on Tuesday by High10VPN.com, a London-based web site that evaluations digital personal community providers.

“Web blackouts carry your entire digital economic system to a standstill,” Samuel Woodhams, digital rights lead at High10VPN, mentioned in an electronic mail. “In addition they trigger lasting harm by contributing to a lack of investor confidence and damage the casual economic system by disrupting the circulation of cash enabled by social media platforms and cell cash transactions.”

The Center East and North Africa area recorded the most expensive disruptions, totalling US$3.1bil (RM12.68bil) final yr, the report mentioned. It cited for example the web blackouts initiated in Iraq and Iran to stifle widespread anti-government protests.

The findings of the High10VPN report come as government-led Web shutdown actions proceed unabated world wide. Various international locations have already formally legislated web controls.

Russia, as an example, handed a “sovereign Web” regulation that took impact on Nov 1, letting the federal government block Web visitors from outdoors the nation in an emergency and requiring service suppliers to filter and divert visitors.

That has been in comparison with China’s so-called Nice Firewall, which slows down cross-border Web visitors and blocks entry to chose international web sites, together with Google and Fb.

There have been extra Web shutdowns in 2019 than ever earlier than, in keeping with the High10VPN report. It additionally mentioned the worldwide financial price elevated 235% from the US$2.4bil (RM9.81bil) complete within the 12 months ended June 30, 2016, estimated by analysis group Brookings Establishment.

The 5 international locations whose economies had been hit hardest by main web and social media disruptions final yr included Iraq, Sudan, India, Venezuela and Iran, the High10VPN report mentioned.

Social media platforms that had been most affected by government-led shutdowns had been WhatsApp, Fb, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Regardless of their damaging affect on the worldwide economic system, human rights and democratic processes, on-line blackouts are anticipated to proceed this yr, with the fee to the worldwide economic system prone to rise.

“As the worldwide digital economic system continues to develop, the financial affect of Web shutdowns will solely enhance,” High10VPN.com’s Woodhams mentioned. – South China Morning Publish

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