A study released by the Brookings Institution has found that the economic cost of temporary internet shutdowns that occurred in various parts of the world between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 reached at least $2.4 billion.
Darrell West — vice president and director of governance studies and founding director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation — wrote in an article published Thursday the findings were based on his analysis of 81 short-term internet disruptions across 19 countries over the 12-month period.
He said he considered the percentage of gross domestic product in each country he studied in order to calculate the economic impact of government interferences with digital networks.
According to West, national internet shutdowns in the past year caused economic losses of roughly $968 million for India, $465 million for Saudi Arabia and $320 million for Morocco.
He also cited a study by University of Washington researchers that identified 606 circumstances wherein 99 different governments interfered with cyber operations “deliberately” between 1995 and the early part of 2011.
The UW research team also found that government officials ordered those disruptions to safeguard government authority, reduce public dissidence, prevent terror attacks, maintain national security or protect local businesses.