For the first time after August 5, the ban on social networks was lifted in J&K

SRINAGAR: For the first time after the cancellation of in and Kashmir, the administration of the territory of the Union on Wednesday allowed citizens access to social networks. Although 2G mobile services were restored as of January 25, this is the first time in seven months that access to social media platforms is given.

However, access is only on 2G mobile data services and landline internet provided by private players. Fixed line internet services by BSNL They have not yet been put into operation. In addition, access to websites, including social media platforms, will be given until March 17, according to a notification from the J&K department of origin.

Communication links in the territory of the Union were cut on August 5 last year when the Center finalized the special status enjoyed by J&K. Telephone links were restored in the following months and on January 25, access to only 300 white list sites (including websites related to emails, banking, education, jobs, travel, entertainment, etc.) was restored during one week. This extended periodically. The new order from the department of origin arrived hours before the previous extension expired on Wednesday at midnight.

Internet access throughout the Union territory with Internet speed restricted to 2G only and Internet connectivity with MAC link to continue until March 17, 2020. The instructions to remain in force unless modified before. While postpaid SIM cardholders will continue to have access to the Internet, these services will not be available on prepaid SIM cards unless they are verified according to the applicable standards for postpaid connections, said the order, issued by the principal secretary of J&K (home) Shaleen Kabra.

The order was issued after evaluating the reports of law enforcement agencies and the impact of the regulation of telecommunications services on the overall security situation.

About fixed-line Internet connectivity, Kabra said it would continue to be available with a MAC link, which essentially means making a client machine work from a particular Internet Protocol (IP) address.

It is also indicated that the access/communication facilities provided by the government, namely electronic terminals/Internet kiosks, in addition to special arrangements for tourists, students, merchants, etc., will continue, Kabra said.

Kabra asked the police chiefs of the Jammu and Kashmir divisions to communicate the instructions of the department of origin to the service providers and guarantee the implementation with immediate effect.

While continuing the ban on social networks, authorities had said last month that anti-national elements and people across the border were misusing these networking sites that allowed peer-to-peer communication and virtual private networks (VPNs) . Internet service providers (ISPs) were asked to guarantee access to 1,674 white list sites only and not to any social media application.

(With contributions from the Jammu agency)