The inside story of how India shuts down the internet in Kashmir

India Connected
How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy
Book Excerpt 

I wondered how you shut down the internet. Is there a giant red button? How do you control which regions get curfewed? Who makes these decisions? Is there a way to circumvent the blackouts?

When I arrived in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, on July 01, 2017—the morning of the Anantnag “encounter”—those were the questions swirling around in my head. At Srinagar’s airport, I tested my phone. I managed to catch a weak 3G signal. That morning’s e-curfew was limited to the site of the shooting, some fifty kilometers to the south. I instinctively Googled “How does India shut down the Internet?” About thirty seconds later, a few links began to reveal themselves. None seemed to address the question.

A local journalist, Mukhtar Ahmed, had offered to show me around the city. We had arranged to visit an ISP, or internet service provider. The company requested we keep its name . . .