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New Report Reveals the Economic Costs of Internet Shutdowns

Author: Global Network Initiative, Published on: 27 October 2016

The Global Network Initiative today launched a new report: “The Economic Impact of Disruptions to Internet Connectivity,” which highlights the significant economic damage caused when governments around the world deliberately shut down or disrupt Internet services. The report, which was prepared by Deloitte and made possible by funding from GNI member Facebook, lays out a framework for measuring the costs of shutdowns in terms of the daily gross domestic product lost in countries with varying levels of Internet connectivity. Based on this approach, the report estimates that an average high-connectivity country stands to lose at least 1.9% of its daily GDP for each day all Internet services are shut down. For an average medium-level connectivity country, the loss is estimated at 1% of daily GDP, and for an average low-connectivity country, the loss is estimated at 0.4% of daily GDP. “Governments should recognize the serious consequences of disrupting network access and see shutdowns through a human rights and development lens, not solely through a political or security lens,” said GNI Independent Board Chair Mark Stephens, CBE...“Shutting down the Internet undermines economic activity and chills free expression,“ said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. “The economic and human rights harms of network shutdowns reinforce each other, and are of particular concern in developing countries, emerging and fragile democracies, and jurisdictions with weak rule of law.”

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