J&K high-speed Internet restoration put off

VPNs being misused by anti-national elements, says government

Published - February 26, 2020 04:32 am IST

The Jammu & Kashmir administration has decided not to restore high-speed Internet till March 4. The administration has once again underlined “the misuse of virtual private networks by anti-national elements” for continuing with the low-speed 2G Internet service. The Internet blockade and limited access have been in force for seven months now.

“It has came to the fore that VPNs were being used by handlers from across the border to bypass Internet restrictions to coordinate with their operatives within the UT of J&K, plan terror acts and scale up anti-national activities,” said a new government order.

After considering the available alternatives, and subject to further review, the directions on restrictions shall continue to remain operative till March 4, said J&K Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra.

“Mobile data services in some areas of the Kashmir Valley had to be suspended, although for limited periods of time, due to militancy related activities over the last week and the apprehension regarding disruption to public order with the larger aim of causing dissatisfaction and discontent,” said Mr. Kabra.

Internet services were snapped on August 5 last year and was restored in January. However, only 2G speed is available and access to sites has been limited.

Meanwhile, the administration is constantly increasing the number of white-listed sites in J&K, especially service-related websites. Less than 1500 white-listed websites can be accessed now. However, all the social media platforms remain banned in J&K.

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