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Mobile Internet shutdown in North Kashmir

Less than a week since MediaNama's open house discussion on Internet shutdowns in Delhi, mobile Internet was shut down again in Kashmir, the Daily Excelsior reports. What's interesting is that shutdown includes also includes BSNL. Kashmiri journalists in the open discussion pointed that BSNL  partially evades network shutdowns since it's used by bureaucrats and police. The shutdown happened in North Kashmir in the Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore and Baramulla districts. This follows reports that three "foreign militants", as well as a civilian woman, were shot down by security forces. Kashmir has had several shutdowns this year; in 2017, Internet shutdowns have nearly doubled in number compared to last year. Late last month, Internet was shut down in thirteen districts as a "preventive measure" in Haryana. Internet shutdowns have been very common in Kashmir, where authorities frequently order telecom providers to shut down Internet services to arrest the spread of rumours from services like WhatsApp. Earlier this year, it seemed as though they would begin to take a more surgical approach than blocking Internet access altogether. In April, the government banned several social media services, as opposed to disabling internet access altogether. It's unclear why they didn't do the same thing this time around, although perhaps that could be due to reports that Kashmiris were able to evade the ban altogether by tunnelling their Internet traffic through other countries. In August, the central government notified some rules for Internet shutdowns to bring about clarity in which government officials can issue them. These rules…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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