VPNs fail to connect as telecom companies succeed in installing firewall

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Srinagar: Netizens in Kashmir won’t be able to access social media sites any more as the mobile companies—Airtel, Jio and others have successfully installed firewalls that blocks Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

After the authorities in Kashmir restored 2 G, people downloaded VPNs on their mobile phones to access the social sites that include WhatsApp, Youtube and Facebook etc. However, with the installation of firewalls by the mobile companies especially Jio and Airtel, people won’t be able to access the social sites anymore in Kashmir, reported wire-service KNO.

In Kashmir, there has been a search interest in VPN applications by the people after the government recently allowed access to only 482 “whitelisted” websites almost after six months of internet shutdown. The popular social media sites like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media apps were inaccessible but through VPNs, people were able to access these sites easily.

Since August last year, internet, mobile phone, and landline services in Jammu and Kashmir have been shut down after the government’s decision of abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir.

A netizen said “WhatsApp is not only a social media app used by a huge chunk of Kashmiri people to stay connected with friends, relatives etc.”

Director General of Police (J-K), Dilbagh Singh had recently stated that VPNs were being misused by the militants and had urged the private telecom companies to walk an extra mile to ensure that VPNs are blocked. “It took us a two weeks to establish a firewall and finally we succeeded,” an official in the Jio Company told. Similarly, Airtel also followed suit. (KNO)

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