In the Valley, if one wants to access the Internet, they have to give an undertaking to the police in which the user “allows complete access to all content and infrastructure”, promises not to surf social media or upload “any encrypted file”, and pledges that “all USB ports on the network will be disabled”.
Over the last two weeks, Internet service providers in the Valley have restored broadband Internet to over a 100 business companies — these include hotels in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam, tour and travel agents in Srinagar, IT companies and some business organisations. The Internet to these businesses has been restored after clearance from the J&K Police, which has sought the undertaking.
Internet has also been restored to police offices and some government offices.
This undertaking is mandatory for those seeking Internet access, and has six conditions. It reads, “In order to make sure that our Internet is restricted to business purposes only, below are the measures that are in place on our network.”
The conditions include:
* that from the allowed IP, there will be no social networking, proxies, VPNs and WiFi
* that no encrypted file containing any sort of video/photo will be uploaded
* that we also have MAC binding in place to restrict Internet access to registered devices through single PC
* that all USB ports will be disabled on the network
* that the company will be responsible for any kind of breach and misuse of internet
* that the company will provide complete access to all its content and infrastructure as and when requested by the security agencies.
A senior police official told The Indian Express that while the undertaking is mandatory for the restoration of Internet, it depends on police whether to clear the business house or office for restoration of broadband services. “There are several factors taken into consideration before restoring Internet to any office or business house,” said the officer. “The police clearance is mandatory. It is not necessary that whosoever signs the bond will get his Internet connection restored.”
While the internet has been restored to Doordarshan and All India Radio, it is yet to be restored to media offices and journalists in the Valley.
On Tuesday, a list of journalists working in the Valley was sought by the Centre from J&K Police.
Police officials say the list has been sought to find out the possibility of restoring Internet to journalists and media offices.
All forms of the Internet — from broadband to mobile Internet — has been barred in the Valley since August 5, when the Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.