Mobile internet in Jammu & Kashmir will remain restricted to 2G speeds at least until June 17, the administration said in an order yesterday. The government has cited the Nawakadal encounter in Srinagar, multiple instances of terrorist acts, and possible increase in attacks due to the onset of summer. Terrorist activities are facilitated via VOIP and encrypted mobile communication, which are used by "anti-national elements" to communicate with their handlers across the border, the order said. The order also claimed that internet speed restrictions have not posed any hindrance to COVID-19 control measures, including use of mobile apps, accessing online education content, or carrying out business, but it "has effectively checked the use of social media for propagation and coordination of terror activities". However, students living in Kashmir are experiencing difficulties in accessing online classes, as Rest of World highlighted in this piece. Prepaid SIM card holders will have to adhere to verification norms for postpaid cards, and broadband internet will be available with mac-binding. The restrictions were extended until May 27 on May 11. The administration has suspended even 2G mobile internet multiple times in different parts of the territory. So far, the territory has spent the entire 2-month lockdown — which has brought widespread disruption of lives — on 2G internet. Jammu & Kashmir has 1,921 cases of COVID-19 so far, with 80% of the cases being from the Kashmir Valley. Almost all internet shutdowns in April and May have been ordered in Kashmir Valley (see below). The following is a list of internet suspensions in May 2020,…
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