Govt lifts ban on social media usage in Kashmir

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Srinagar: After almost seven months of clampdown, the J&K administration on Wednesday removed restrictions from social media usage across the Union Territory.

Sources in the Home Ministry confirmed the development to The Kashmir Walla, “Ban on social media has been revoked in the wake of the improving situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the official said.

The order, that was issued without quoting anything on the white liisted websites or social media ban stated that internet access shall be available across the Union Territory of J&K with speed restricted to 2G and “these services shall not be made available on pre-paid sim cards”. Additionally, for fixed-line internet, connectivity shall continue to be made available “with mac-binding at unlimited speeds”.

Earlier, in the day it was reported that the curbs on high-speed 3G, 4G Internet services have been extended till March 17 in Jammu and Kashmir.

As regards service to pre-paid SIMs card, the service providers have been asked to provide access only after SIMs are “verified as per norms applicable to post-paid connections.”
According to the orders issued by Principal Secretary, Home department, Shaleen Kabra, the internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only.
As regards fixed line connectivity, the order says that internet connectivity shall continue to be made available with Mac-binding.
“It is further directed that the access/communication facilities provided by the Government viz; e-terminals/intcrnet kiosks apart from special arrangements for tourists, students, traders etc. shall continue.”
The order, according to Kabra, has been issued upon regular assessment of impact of the directions for regulation of the telecom services on the overall security situation and maintenance of “public order and-taking note of the position brought out in the reports of the law enforcement agencies, while keeping in view the aspects of reasonability of restrictions with regard to the principle of proportionality and consideration of available alternatives”.
The order unlike the previous orders had not mentioned anything on the social media usage. 

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