Internet could be used for terrorism, J&K govt at Supreme Court in reply to plea seeking 4G restoration

Internet service had been blocked in the region following the Indian government’s stripping of the region’s autonomy in August of last year and placing it under lockdown. Photo: Mubashir Hassan

“Internet could be used to propagate modern terrorism,” Jammu & Kashmir government has said in its reply to the plea seeking restoration of 4G internet connectivity in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir as directed by the Supreme Court vide order dated April 9, LiveLaw reported.

“This Hon’ble Court is pleased to accept in Anuradha Bhasin (supra) that the internet could be used to propagate terrorism thereby challenging the sovereignty and integrity of India and was also pleased to recognize that ‘modern terrorism relies heavily on the internet” the reply contends.

According to LiveLaw report, The Government has answered in its preliminary submissions that it is wary of the ‘constitutional’ & ‘statutory oblidations’, in light of which it has been exercising powers under relevant statutes vis-à-vis The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885′ and ‘The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services(Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 (2017 Rules).

Internet service had been blocked in the region following the Indian government’s stripping of the region’s autonomy in August of last year and placing it under lockdown. At the end of January, the Indian authorities restored mobile 2G Internet, which allows users to send and receive SMS messages but not much more. Low-speed fixed-line Internet was restored on 5 March but continues to be subject to MAC-binding, which makes pages very slow to load.

Many international organizations including United Nations bodies and The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have called on the Indian government to restore high-speed internet in Kashmir, saying keeping the restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic is “criminal irresponsibility”.

The repeated appeals from Kashmiri rights activists and many international organizations to restore functioning high-speed internet in Kashmir have received no consideration from the Narendra Modi led government in New Delhi, which now directly controls the territory following the Indian government’s stripping of the valley’s autonomy in August of last year.

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