• Friday, July 01, 2022

INDIA

Jammu & Kashmir engages US firm Cisco Systems to block social media

FILE PHOTO: The Cisco Systems logo is displayed at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Internet has been cut for months in Jammu & Kashmir. Though fixed-line internet is back, the ban continues for social media.

The Jammu & Kashmir administration has engaged US-based Cisco Systems to prevent fixed-line internet users from accessing social media websites.

Internet services in the Valley have been restricted since last August, when Jammu & Kashmir was stripped of its special status and divided into two union territories.

In January, the restrictions were partially eased, with users allowed 2G mobile internet and broadband for 1,500 entities, including those providing essential services such as hospitals.

Reports said Cisco Systems will help the administration build a firewall that will prevent internet users in Kashmir from accessing blacklisted websites, including social media portals, through fixed-line connections.

Employees from the firm’s India branches are currently in Kashmir to build a stopgap arrangement.

Local authorities, the officials added, will soon be purchasing firewall technologies from the firm to keep the social media bar in place.

“We are currently testing the temporary stopgap arrangement… and (analysing) if the ban on blacklisted websites is sustainable. This will be followed by purchasing the firewall,” an official said.

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