The Jammu and Kashmir Administration on Tuesday night partially restored internet services in five districts of the Union Territory for seven days from January 15.
Last week, the Supreme Court had directed that the existing internet shutdown orders in the region should be reviewed within a week.
As per the order issued by the Principal Secretary to J&K Government, the districts of Jammu, Sambha, Kathua, Udhampur and Resai will have 2G mobile connectivity on post-paid mobile services to access "white listed sites", including e-banking.
Internet service providers have been directed to install necessary firewalls and carry out "white-listing" to allow access to Government Websites and sites dealing with essential services, e-banking etc. Access to social media sites will continue to be banned. There will be complete restriction on social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and virtual private network applications (such as Whatsapp).
ISPs have also been directed to provide broadband facility to all institutions dealing with essential services, hospitals, banks, government offices, travel and tourism establishments.
The order also announces the decision to open 400 additional internet kiosks to provide broadband facility to public and students.
These directions will remain in force for seven days from January 15.
It is stated in the order that there are intelligence inputs about efforts by terrorists to "re-activate cadres and scale up anti-national activities" in the region by using social media applications and encrypted platforms.
This order cannot be termed as a 'review' of the prevalent internet shutdown orders. It is stated in the order that the same is issued "subject to the detailed review that is being undertaken".
In its January 10 judgment, the Supreme Court had directed the publication of all internet shutdown orders to enable aggrieved parties to challenge the same before "appropriate forum".
The Court had also directed the three-member Review Committee constituted under Rule 2(5) of the Telecom Suspension Rules to review the existing shutdown orders within a period of seven days. Therefore, the present order cannot be described as one issued in furtherance of the SC direction, as the same is an 'original order' issued by the Principal Secretary in exercise of powers under Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act and Rule 2(1) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules 2017.
The SC had declared that freedom of speech and expression and also freedom of trade and commerce through the medium of internet are constitutionally protected rights under Articles 19(1)(a) and Articles 19(1)(g), respectively.
Click Here To Download Order