Authorities ease internet restrictions in J&K

5 Mar 2020

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) have begun loosening the restrictions on internet access in the Union Territory, lifting a ban on social media platforms and allowing users to access the internet via 2G mobile data services and fixed line connections at restricted speeds, the Economic Times reports. Telecoms services in the region have been restricted since August last year on grounds of ensuring security and public order following the central government’s decision to revoke the territory’s special status. The government has gradually eased restrictions which initially amounted to a virtual communications blackout, restoring mobile telephony in October. It was not until January 2020, however, that authorities began allowing residents to access the internet again, albeit with substantial restrictions. The move followed a Supreme Court ruling in January 2020 that internet access is a fundamental right under the country’s constitution. That month the government allowed access to white listed sites, albeit with restrictions on the access speeds and the technologies that could be used – initially for a week only but extended several times; the current order will remain in effect until 17 March 2020.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT)