The ban on social networks in J&K will continue

JAMMU: The ban on social networks throughout the (UT) of J&K will continue for now, said a government order (GO).

Issued by J&K (home) secretary Shaleen Kabra on Friday night, the GO said the administration has noted various terrorist activities and misuse of Internet access through virtual private network (VPN) applications for the coordination of terrorist acts, transmission of rumors and messages aimed at spreading ideologies hostile to the interest of J&K.

Given the apprehensions about any serious incident that occurs due to these activities, the J&K government decided to continue the ban on social networks until February 7, the order said, adding that this decision can be reviewed before that date.

The order clarified that access to mobile data services will be limited only to whitelist sites (work and banking portals, etc.) and will not be extended to social networking applications, which will allow peer-to-peer communication. .

Data services will be available on both postpaid mobiles and prepaid SIM cards of those holders whose credentials have been verified according to the applicable standards for postpaid connections, and the Internet speed will be restricted to 2G only, the order said.

A complete ban on the installation of broadband Internet throughout the Valley has been in effect since August 5 last year when Parliament ended the special status of J&K. Mobile Internet, which was also suspended at J&K, was restored in phases.