J&K Govt Extends Ban on High-Speed 4G Internet Till 11 May
The order stated well-founded apprehensions of terrorist activity to back the ban extension on pre-paid connections.
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday, 27 April, extended the ban on 4G internet services in the union territory till 11 May. The government has reportedly decided to continue with only 2G data on post-paid connections, while the services will remain unavailable on pre-paid connections unless verified as per norms for post-paid connections.
A report in The Indian Express, quoting an order of the UT Home Department’s Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra, stated that ‘there will be no speed restrictions on the internet through landline broadband and 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.”Order issued by UT Home Department’s Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra.
The order also reportedly pointed out that field agencies had “well-founded apprehensions of enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment of terrorists’ ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend on high-speed internet”.
The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration till 27 April on a petition filed for restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir. The last hearing was held on 21 April.
Kabra reportedly said that the decision was being taken after considering “overall security scenarios” and “reports of law enforcement agencies” , and said that there was no alternative but to continue with speed restrictions on mobile internet access while there would be no curbs on fixed line connectivity.
The Centre had last week told the Supreme Court that militancy in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be overlooked while making a decision on restoring 4G internet in the region.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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