GR News Dek | SRINAGAR
Days after orders to lift the internet suspension, Jammu and Kashmir administration plans to restore 2,000 to 5,000 fixed-line broadband connections in phases in the Valley this month.
Official sources confirmed to groundreport.in that all Internet service providers, including private players offering lease lines, and the government-run BSNL, have been asked to work on generating “a technical muscle” and “firewalls” to stop access to all platforms of the social media like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram as per directives.
“There are fears that locals will log on to these social media platforms and upload videos recorded in the past five months, posing threat to the current calm in Kashmir”.
The MHA and the J&K police are working on a three-page list of websites, including those offering online Islamic courses, discussion, and several news platforms, that may be barred in J&K, which has over 60 lakh Internet users.
Around 5,000 applications, mainly from the offices of government-run departments are pending before the BSNL for the restoration of fixed-line broadband service. The J&K administration is considering the restoration of services in Srinagar and Budgam in the first phase.
Security agencies have already issued dos and don’ts for the government departments, barring generation of Wi-Fi connections and “unhindered access to data to the security agencies.”
The security agencies have also expressed apprehensions that China-made mobile phones pose a security threat as they are difficult to trace unlike registered phone companies “in case a Wi-Fi connection is misused.” The new directions by the security agencies will bar internet access to unregistered cellphones on official Wi-Fi connections and will make it mandatory to change passwords on a weekly basis.
So far, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and anti-insurgency cell, locally called Cargo, are nodal agencies to approve any application made for the restoration of the Internet in the Valley. The recent decision to restore internet services at hospitals has been restricted to administrative matters and implementation of Central schemes.