Netflix, Hotstar accessible in J&K, but no news, social media

Kashmir Times. Dated: 1/19/2020 4:19:01 PM

SRINAGAR, Jan 18 (Agencies): The Jammu and Kashmir administration partially restored Internet facilities earlier this week in the region after more than five months of shutdown.
The 2G mobile Internet service has been restored on postpaid mobile phones in all districts of Jammu and two districts of Kashmir division.
The services were restored only after the Supreme Court ruled that the Internet is a basic right.
While the administration has asked Internet service providers to offer broadband facility (with Mac binding) to all institutions dealing with essential services such as hospitals, banks, and government offices, it has whitelisted at least 150 websites that are accessible in the region.
"Prior to giving such facility, the service providers have been asked to install necessary firewalls and carry out white-listing of sites that would enable government websites and websites dealing with essential services like e-banking," a government order said.
Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir were snapped on August 4 evening, ahead of the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.
The Indian government has maintained that the communication shutdown was imposed to check infiltration to check terror activities in the valley. However, it has also said that restrictions will be lifted in a phased manner.
The administration has categorized accessible websites in different categories: education, utility, banking, mailing, travel, web services, automobile, services and entertainment.
The whitelist does not include any news websites -- neither regional, national or international.
Besides, social media has been made out of bounds for the people in the newly-formed UT.
"There shall be complete restrictions on social media applications allowing peer-to-peer communication and virtual private network applications for the time being," the order said.
The administration has made the websites of all the J&K-based universities and few premier schools in the whitelist.
The list also includes few websites for health services, including Lal Path Labs, PharmEasy and Medical Council of India, categorized in the 'Utility' section.
The government has also made entertainment websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HotStar, Sony Liv, etc. accessible.



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