Jammu and Kashmir govt extends ban on 4G internet services till 11 May; services to be available on 2G speed

2G mobile internet services shall be available for postpaid SIM card holders and only to verified pre-paid sim card holders, said an order issued by Jammu and Kashmir Home Department.

FP Staff April 28, 2020 00:08:10 IST
Jammu and Kashmir govt extends ban on 4G internet services till 11 May; services to be available on 2G speed

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday extended the ban on high-speed mobile internet in the Union Territory till 11 May, reported The Indian Express. According to the order issued by the Home Department, Jammu and Kashmir government, the internet speed will be restricted to 2G only.

2G mobile internet services shall be available to postpaid sim cardholders and only to verified pre-paid sim card holders, said an order issued by Jammu and Kashmir Home Department’s Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra.

Jammu and Kashmir govt extends ban on 4G internet services till 11 May services to be available on 2G speed

Representational image. ANI

"Postpaid SIM cardholders will continue to be provided access to the internet, (such services) won't be available on prepaid SIM cards unless verified as per norms for postpaid connections. The order is effective from 28 April till 11 May, unless modified earlier," ANI quotes the government as saying.

According to the order, fixed-line internet connectivity will be available with Mac-binding, effective from 28 April till 11 May.

“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,” says the order..

According to News18, the order also refers to a spurt in terrorist activities."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,” the report quotes the government as saying.

"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,’’ the Indian Express report quotes Kabra as saying.

Kabra further adds: “...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’’.

"The IsGP, Jammu/Kashmir, shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers and ensure their implementation," the order states.

The communication blackout imposed in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 was gradually lifted with 2G Internet services on mobile phones being restored on January 25. However, internet access was limited to "white-listed" sites.

With inputs from ANI

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