March 2002 News

From the internet to security net in J&K

24 March 2002
The Statesman
Kavita Suri

Jammu: Netizens beware! If you are an Internet user in Jammu and Kashmir with a connection via Delhi or any other state, chances are you might as well bump into the scanner of IB and RAW sleuths. And surely so, if your mail contains “key words” including Kashmir, jihad and Pakistan. The ministry of home affairs has set up an unique “J&K Filter” in New Delhi which automatically distills any of the incoming or outgoing mail through it. All Internet and STD facilities in Jammu and Kashmir has been withdrawn after the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security on grounds that defence-related information were being leaked out through the PCO booths and cyber cafes here. The CCS argued that militants in the state were using laptops and computers for communicating with their mentors all over the country and abroad through the STD facility. Though the number of such users were limited, the MHA, which didn’t take any chances, installed an automatic filter rather than scrutinising each and every incoming or outgoing e-mail to and from the state. “Checking every J&K e-mail through the BSNL server was not a difficult task but proved laborious,” said an Intelligence official, adding now with this “J&K E-mail Filter”, they can easily screen any mail for key words. There are no operational cyber cafes in the state, save one in Srinagar, apparently functioning with the permission of defence authorities. Only after registering in the café and submitting your complete resume and photograph, can you start mailing.


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