Kashmir logs into social media after 7 months

The J&K administration on Wednesday revoked ban on social media after seven months, however restrictions on high-speed 3G-4G internet would continue.

A fresh order issued by Principal Secretary Home Department, ShaleenKabra, said that 2G internet services on post-paid sim cards would continue till March 17. It said the order has been issued after reviewing security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.

On August 5, 2019, the Central Government abrogated the special Constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir. Apprehending protests, it enforced a total clampdown on the state, arrested political, religious, bar, trade leaders and activists, and snapped all telephone and internet connections across the region.

The Department has not issued any list of “white-listed” sites today, indicating that the government has revoked restrictions on the social media.

Similarly, there is no reference in the order to the use or misuse of VPN applications in Kashmir though it was described in earlier orders. “Yes, the restrictions on social media have been lifted,” a seniopr police officer told Greater Kashmir.

With the revoking of social media ban, the people can now access Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks on 2G internet across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In the last order of February 24, the Home Department had issued a list of 1674 “white-listed” sites which could be accessed internet.

In today’s order, Principal Secretary Home has expressed satisfaction on the security situation.

“The 2G internet speed will be restricted across Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the postpaid sim-card holders will continue to be provided access to the internet, and these services will not be made available on pre-paid sim cards unless verified as per norms applicable for postpaid connection,” reads the Home Department order.

The internet connectivity will continue to be made available with mac-binding, the order said.

“The access or communication facilities provided by the government like e-terminals, internet kiosks, apart from special arrangements for tourism, students, traders etc. will also continue.

“The Inspector Generals of Police in Kashmir and Jammu will ensure communication of these directions to the service providers and also ensure implementation of the directions with immediate effect,” says the order.