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Inter alia, the notification cites cross-border terrorist threats that heavily depend on high-speed internet and misuse of data services by "anti-national" elements to justify the decision.
The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has notified that presently prevailing internet access restrictions in the Union Territory will continue to remain in force until May 11, inter alia, on apprehensions that there are enhanced threats of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
As per the notification issued on Monday the internet restrictions that will continue in Jammu and Kashmir include the following:
The internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only;
While the postpaid SIM card holders shall continue to be provided access to the internet, these services shall be made available on pre-paid SIM card unless verified as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections;
Fixed line internet connectivity shall be available with Mac Binding.
The directive has been issued citing the prortection of India’s sovereignty and integrity and to maintain public order, invoking relevant provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Temporary Suspension of telecom Services (Public Emergency of Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
Pertinently, the Government has stated the following reasons for the same to state that it is satisfied that there is no other alternative but to continue with the speed restrictions when it comes to internet access through mobiles:
The restrictions have been placed to curb the spread of “provocative videos, guard against rumour mongering/fake news, prevent use of encrypted messaging & VOIP services for infiltrating and coordinating terror activities” and to “defeat the nefarious designs from across the border to propagate terrorism.”
Recently there has been a spurt in terrorist violence with the launch of new terror outfits. Field agencies have well-founded apprehensions of enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment in terrorist ranks as well as infiltration attempts which heavily depend on high-speed internet.
Misuse of data services by anti-national elements has the potential to scale up violent activities and disturb public order, which has been maintained till now given the “gradual easing of restrictions on access to the internet while ensuring that rights and interests of the citizens are not affected adversely.”
Read the Notification: