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Kashmir Admin Preparing ‘Blacklist’ to Ban Several URLs Before Restoring Internet Fully

Anees Zargar |
“There are some sites which are likely to remain banned for longer period including social media sites like instant messaging services or Facebook and Twitter," said an administration official.
Social Media Restriction in Kashmir

Image Courtesy: Medium

Srinagar: The administration is formulating a ‘blacklist’ of URLs before it completely restores internet in Kashmir, days after it allowed limited access to ‘whitelisted’ URLs only in the region.

According to an administrative official, the government is developing a list of sites that will remain banned despite resumption of full speed internet in the region.

"There are some sites which are likely to remain banned for longer period including social media sites like instant messaging services or Facebook and Twitter," the official said. Confirming the same, an employee of a telecom company claimed that remaining services including broadband and leaselines are likely to be restored anytime now. "Despite the full restoration, there will be some sites which will continue to remain inaccessible," the employee told NewsClick.

The government on January 25 partially restored internet services across the Kashmir region after nearly six months of complete blackout. The access, however, was limited to around 300 websites only, which the administration referred to as "whitelisted" sites. The whitelist URLs included government sites, email services and other utility sites.

Also read: While Envoys Junket, SC Raps Centre on Valley Curbs

A majority of sites including government's own sites continue to remain off the bounds for people in the region. Also, since the services are limited to 2G which makes surfing and access even more difficult.

"Rather than a regular review of whitelisted sites it's more reasonable to prepare a blacklist sites that are problematic," the official said.

Internet services with other communication services were severed in Kashmir on August 5 as the government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Since then, people in the region have been suffering severely under the clampdown.

After the announcement of internet services being partially resumed, the relief was short-lived for people as 2G service on all networks remained restricted. Many businesses, institutions in the region claimed they still couldn't restore their operations as they depend on high speed internet only.

In its January 24 order which announced the limited restoration of internet services in the region, the government also directed telecom companies to carry out verification process of prepaid connection holders. "The telecom service providers shall continue with the verification process of credentials of prepaid connections,, as already directed," the order read.

Also read: Kashmir: Internet with Limited Access Fails to Bring Relief to People

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