Govt extends high-speed 4g internet ban in J&K till July 29

Srinagar, July 8: Authorities on Wednesday extended the ban on high-speed 4g internet services in Jammu and Kashmir till July 29.

“Upon assessment of the reports of the field agencies bringing out in unambiguous terms the necessity for continuation of the restrictions on access to internet services, I being satisfied that it is absolutely necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, …hereby order that the directions/restrictions contained in the order (dated June 17) shall continue to remain in force till 29 July 2020, unless modified earlier,” reads an order by Principal Secretary Home Department Shaleen Kabra. By virtue of the June 17 order, the internet speed was restricted in J&K to 2G.

As per the order, the restrictions on access to internet services have been put in place to “curb misuse of data for uploading, downloading, circulation of provocative content on the social media and prevent or reduce rumor mongering and fake news, counter attempts of recruiting gullible youth into the militants’ ranks”.

The 2G internet services are also put in place to curtail the use of encrypted messaging and VOIP services for infiltration and coordinating militant activities, and “defeat the nefarious designs from across the border to propagate (militancy).”

“The security agencies have been successful in eliminating a large number of (militants) while ensuring that the public order is maintained primarily because the data services have not been allowed to be misused by the anti-social elements, OGWs to mobilize crowds,” the order said, adding, “Besides, these restrictions have not adversely impacted the efforts of the Government towards COVID control, education and business activities.”

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