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India keeps lid on Kashmir's internet 6 months into lockdown


Added 02-14-20 02:22:02am EST - “Six months after India's government stripped restive Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and enforced a total communications blackout, it is heralding the restoration of limited, slow-speed internet as a step toward normalcy.” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “India keeps lid on Kashmir’s internet 6 months into lockdown”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

NEW DELHI (AP) - Six months after India’s government stripped restive Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and enforced a total communications blackout, it is heralding the restoration of limited, slow-speed internet as a step toward normalcy.

But for the Himalayan region’s 7 million people, the reality is far different. They are only allowed to access government-approved websites. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter remain blocked. And while users can access YouTube and Netflix, the internet service is too slow to stream video.

Some Kashmiris are evading censors by using virtual private networks, or VPNs, which are widely employed globally to access restricted websites, but Indian authorities are looking for ways to clamp down on those, too.

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“Frankly, let’s call it what it is: It’s still an internet shutdown and a blanket censorship of the internet,” said Nikhil Pahwa, a New Delhi-based digital rights activist. “Can you imagine this being done to Delhi?”

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