Six months after the dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the administration issued orders Friday, allowing the restoration of broadband and data services in the recently incepted Union Territory. The administration underlined that social media access will not be allowed until January 31 at least.
Broadband services to essential operations were restored on January 15. Also, restricted data access was restored in the two North Kashmir districts of Kupwara and Baramulla. Following Friday’s order, internet access will be extended throughout the Valley.
A home department order issued late Friday stated, “Access shall be limited to whitelisted sites and not to any social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and Virtual Private Network Application.” The order also states that data services shall be available on post-paid mobiles and on pre-paid mobile SIM cards “of such holders whose credentials have been verified as per the norms applicable for the post-paid connections.”
Here’s the administration order stating the list of accessible websites in J&K:
On January 10, calling for a review of the continued internet shutdown in the Valley, the Supreme Court had stated that “freedom of speech and expression through the Internet is an integral part of Article 19(1)(a) and any restriction on it must be in compliance with Article 19(2) of the Constitution.”
Until now, the whitelist included 153 websites comprising four emailing sites such as gmail and outlook, 15 banking websites including RBI, J&K Bank, PayPal and Western Union; three employment websites, 38 educational websites including indiaresults, IGNOU and websites for five J&K based universities, three schools and Wikipedia.
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