The UN rights office says Internet shutdowns can harm democracies
With grave effects in mind, the UN has urged nations to cease imposing Internet blackouts. If they continue to impose internet shutdowns or interruptions, the UN rights office has warned that they would suffer fatal repercussions. According to the assessment, millions of people’s lives and human rights will be impacted by Internet outages.
The UN rights office noted how individuals in hospitals might be impacted by Internet outages in a recent study. Internet and telecommunications service disruptions can have a variety of effects, including, “Hospitals being unable to contact their doctors in cases of emergency, voters being deprived of information about candidates, handicraft makers being cut off from customers, and… peaceful protesters who fall under violent attack being unable to call for help”
The internet shutdowns are occurring at a time when the digital world has become crucial for the realisation of numerous human rights, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet underlined in a statement. He continued by saying that prolonged internet shutdowns might harm both material and human rights.
By denying thousands or even millions of people access to their sole means of staying in touch with loved ones, carrying on with their jobs, or taking part in political discussions or choices, a shutdown of the internet can not only harm the economy but also create emotional agony.
“Internet shutdowns have emerged as the digital world has become ever more important, indeed essential, for the realization of many human rights. Switching off the Internet causes incalculable damage, both in material and human rights terms. When a state shuts down the internet, both people and economies suffer. The costs for jobs, education, health and political participation virtually always exceed any hoped-for benefit” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
The UN rights office wants to intervene quickly to stop Internet blackouts.