The Jammu and Kashmir administration Monday extended the ban on high-speed mobile internet in the UT till May 11. The government has decided to continue with only 2G data speed on post-paid SIM cards. These services shall not be available on pre-paid SIM cards unless verified as per the norms applicable for postpaid connections, said an order issued by the UT Home Department’s Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra.
Also, there will be no speed restrictions on the internet through landline broadband, the order said, adding that the fixed-line connectivity shall be available with Mac binding.
“Such restrictions have been placed in order to curb uploading, downloading and circulation of provocative videos, guard against rumour mongering/fake news, prevent the use of encrypted messaging and VOIP services for infiltration and coordinating terror activities, and defeat the nefarious designs from across the border to propagate terrorism,’’ read an order issued by UT Home Department’s Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra.
Referring to the recent spurt in violence with the launch of new terror outfits, the order pointed out that, “the field agencies have well-founded apprehensions of enhanced effort by Pakistan for recruitment in terrorists’ ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend on high-speed internet’’.
“Whereas the misuse of data services by anti-national elements has the potential to scale up violent activities and disturb public order, which has till now been maintained due to gradual easing of restrictions on access to internet while ensuring the rights and interests of the citizens are not affected adversely,’’ Kabra said, adding that “on consideration of overall security scenario and reports of the law enforcing agencies, I am satisfied that there is no alternative but to continue with the speed restrictions in respect of access to internet through mobiles while providing unrestricted fixed-line connectivity, ie, without any speed restrictions’’.
A communication blackout was clamped down on Jammu & Kashmir on August 4 last year. The administration allowed the use of landlines on August 18 and restored postpaid mobile services on October 14. Broadband services for essential purposes were restored on January 15 and 2G internet access to whitelisted sites was allowed post January 24.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines