After seven months, the Jammu and Kashmir administration removed a ban on social media platforms, permitting access all websites on 2G mobile data services till March 17. Earlier, the administration had allowed access to only white-listed websites when the services were restored for a week on January 25 and later extended from time to time.
The new notification was issued by Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, after analysing the impact of telecom services regulation on the overall security status and maintenance of public order along with reports of law enforcement agencies.
The order mentioned that the internet speed on mobile data services would be restricted to 2G only and the postpaid SIM cardholders would continue to be provided access to the Internet. These services, however, would not be available on pre-paid SIM cards if they are not verified according to the norms applicable to postpaid connections.
The Principal Secretary also said that the Internet connectivity would continue to be made available with Mac Binding that enforces people to work from a specific Internet Protocol address.
"It is further directed that the access/communication facilities provided by the government Viz e-terminals/internet kiosks apart from special arrangements for tourists, students, traders etc. shall continue," the order read.
The Inspector Generals of Police, Kashmir and Jammu divisions, have also been directed to ensure implementation of the directions by all service providers with immediate effect.
Last month, continuing the ban on social media, authorities had claimed that anti-national elements and people across the border "misused" the networking sites allowing communication and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were, therefore asked to ensure access to 1,674 white-listed sites only.
The mobile and internet services restrictions were eased in phases after the Supreme Court, in January, ruled that access to the Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution, asking the government to review the curbs.