Srinagar: The government on Monday extended ban on 4G mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir. The ban will continue till May 11, an order issued by Home Department said. It cited spurt in militant violence, launch of new militant outfits and “well-founded” apprehensions of the “field agencies” regarding “enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment in the (militant) ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend on high-speed internet.”
“Such restrictions have been placed in order to curb uploading, downloading, circulation of provocative videos, guard against rumor-mongering, fake news, prevent the use of encrypted messaging and VOIP services for infiltration and coordinating (militant) activities, and defeat the nefarious designs from across the border to propagate militancy,” it said. Misuse of data services, according to it, by “anti-national elements” has the potential to scale up violent activities and disturb public order, “which has till now been maintained due to the gradual easing of restrictions on access to the internet while ensuring that rights and interests of the citizens are not affected adversely.”
“Now, therefore, on consideration of the overall security scenario and the reports of the law enforcing agencies, I am satisfied that there is no other alternative but to continue with the speed restrictions in respect of access to the internet through mobiles while providing unrestricted fixed-line connectivity i.e. without any speed restrictions, and, accordingly, in the interest of the sovereignty and the integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, ….I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, hereby direct that there shall (restrictions on access to the internet with mobile data services restricted to 2G only,” the order said.