You will need a license to create a WhatsApp group in Kashmir

The internet rights activists have criticised the move stating it as unconstitutional

GN Bureau | April 19, 2016


#WhatsApp   #Jat agitation   #Haryana   #Section 144   #Telegraph Act   #Internet   #Kashmir  


Moving beyond internet ban, Kashmir’s Kupwara district issued a notice asking all admins of WhatsApp news groups to register their groups with the district authority within ten days. 

With this move, the authorities are taking power in their hands to monitor WhatsApp news groups owned by private individuals. However, internet rights activists criticised it saying the move is unconstitutional as it breaches freedom of speech.

The circular is issued under the subject of ‘registering of WhatsApp news group and restrictions for spreading rumours thereof’.  The district magistrate said that any spread of information by these WhatsApp news groups, “leading to untoward incidents will be dealt under the law”.

You may need a license in Kashmir to run a WhatsApp group


The valley witnessed five-day internet shutdown following the Handwara firing incident.  Internet ban is a common phenomenon in Kashmir.

“For how long will the government decide whether we can communicate with each other or not? Actually, the authorities do not want us to spread the truth about the army’s atrocities far and wide,” said a resident of Handwara as quoted in Kashmir Reader.

Earlier, parts of Haryan and Gujarat also witnessed internet ban during Jat and Patidar agitation, respectively.

Blocking all internet access is clearly an unnecessary and disproportionate measure that cannot be countenanced as a ‘reasonable restriction’ on freedom of expression and the right to seek and receive information, which is an integral part of the freedom of expression,” said Pranesh Prakash.

For instance, he adds, a riot-affected woman seeking to find out the address of the nearest hospital cannot do so on her phone. “Instead of blocking access to the internet, the government should seek to quell rumours by using social networks to spread the truth, and by using social networks to warn potential rioters of the consequences,” he said.

Former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria used WhatsApp to counter rumours spread after circulation of a fake photo in January 2015.

“The way in which the ban is imposed is unreasonable. Problem is in the method that is being used in absence of guidelines, defining circumstances under which they can impose a restriction on internet sites,” says Arun Kumar, head of cyber initiatives at Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

If government formulates these rules or guidelines it will set a threshold for state or central authorities, which will define the urgency of imposing ban on internet services.

 

 

Comments

 

Other News

Central Railways runs over 800 Kisan Railway trips

To ensure bigger access to farm produce and provide new markets with quick transportation and subsidy at 50%, the Kisan Rail has been bringing prosperity, joy, and hope to farmers of Maharashtra. On November 28, the Central Railway ran its 800th  trip of Kisan Rail from Sangola to Muzaffarpur.

Omicron forces Mumbai to delay school reopening

The looming threat of the new Covid strain B.1.1.529, known as Omicron, has pushed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to postpone the reopening of schools for classes 1-7 to December 15. Earlier, these classes were scheduled to reopen from December 1. The education department of t

4 Industrial Smart Cities built under the aegis of DMIC: asserts Commerce Ministry

 Source: PTI   As many as 4 greenfield industrial smart cities or nodes are being built under Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Co

Center completed more than 3000 smart city projects valued INR 53, 575 crores: Kaushal Kishore, MoS, MOHUA

 The Minister of State, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA), Kaushal Kishore recently shared information in the Rajya Sabha, stating the central government successfully completed 3000 smart cities projects

Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary, Sameer Sharma gets extension for 6 months

 An official release by the Government of India recently extended the tenure by six months for Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh, Sameer Sharma from December 1, 2021. A 1985 batch, senior IAS officer, Sharma w

Central Government approves of appointing 9 Officers for Joint Secretary or equivalent role

The Government of India led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sanctioned empanelment of nine officers from IAS, IRSS, ISS and IRTS cadre for Joint Secretary or equivalent position in the Centre.

Visionary Talks: Dr. Naresh Trehan, CMD Medanta Heart Institute with Kailashnath Adhikari



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter