KPC Asks Govt To Restore Internet To Media Fraternity

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Journalists at the Government Media Facilitation Centre in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

SRINAGAR – Kashmir Press Club (KPC) is aghast over the continuous internet blockade to media organi­zations and journalists in Kashmir for last 177 days.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the KPC management while discussing the government’s decision of not restoring internet to media organi­zations and journalists described it is a deliberate attempt to stifle press in the region.

Pointing out January 10 Supreme Court’s verdict defining access to internet as a constitutionally guar­anteed right, they said that there appears no headway from the gov­ernment to ensure this right is available to media fraternity in the Valley. This becomes evident as the government has singled out media organizations and journalists by not restoring their internet. In fact, there is no direction to Internet Ser­vice Providers about restoring inter­net to media houses and journalists.

It also came to fore that Internet Service Providers are seeking a writ­ten undertaking in which subscrib­ers are asked to provide complete access to all content and infra­structure as and when required by security agencies. This is a serious breach of individual rights and right to privacy.

In its recent decision about res­toration of internet, the authorities have also not taken into consider­ation net neutrality and whitelisted only 301 websites. Majority of lo­cal news websites, national and in­ternational news websites are not among the whitelisted websites. It is quite strange to understand the process or yardstick adopted for whitelisting the websites.

We once again remind the gov­ernment about its duties to ensure freedom of press as well as right to access internet which the Supreme Court declared as an integral part of Article 19 (10) (A).

 

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