Kashmir Press Club demands communication blockade be lifted

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Srinagar, Sep 3 (IANS) The Kashmir Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday asked the authorities to end the communication blockade in the valley, adding that some journalists have allegedly been asked to vacate their government accommodation.

In a statement, the KPC said communication blockade has affected mobile phones, Internet and phone landlines.

Currently, a makeshift media facilitation centre is operational where journalists have to wait in queues for long hours for their turn to file stories, it said.

“The centre is equipped with only five computers and a low speed Internet connection,” read the statement.

The communication blockade in the valley came into effect on August 5.

Despite the blockade, communication channels are open among separatists as well as local terrorists via several offline chat apps and highly-encrypted anonymous chat platform Tor, which are giving a hard time to security agencies and authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Popular among terrorists networks and anti-government protesters globally, Tor prevents people from tracing location or spying on users’ browsing habits.

The Indian government has completely shut down the telephone and Internet network in the Valley, but there are various ways the people are trying numerous circumvention tools to avoid the web shutdown.

The worrying part is “off-the-grid” chat apps which are likely being used to communicate with one another via smartphones within a range of up to 100-200 metres — by broadcasting encrypted data via Wi-Fi or bluetooth.

–IANS

na/vd

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