The J&K government has lifted social media restrictions in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, seven months after they were imposed as part of the measures to contain the fallout of the abrogation of Article 370.
The Home Department of the J&K government issued an order for the temporary suspension of telecom services on 4 March 2020, following its periodic review of the situation in the region (as mandated by the Supreme Court of India).
Unlike previous orders, the new order does not specify if internet access (whether via mobile data or broadband) will be restricted to ‘whitelisted’ sites, meaning full access to the internet has finally been restored, including social media sites.
The order, issued by the Principal Secretary to the government, no longer includes wording about intelligence inputs indicating that social media and VPN applications are being used to coordinate terror activities or upload provocative material – which was the justification provided in previous orders for continued blocks on social media.
The following restrictions remain on internet access in J&K according to the order:
- Mobile data internet speed is restricted to 2G
- Mobile data internet is not available for prepaid SIM cards yet, unless verified by the authorities. Postpaid SIMs will have unrestricted internet access, but at 2G speed
- Broadband internet is available with Mac-binding (basically fixed IP addresses)
You can read the whole order below:
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