India Blocked on Use of VPNs in Kashmir to Get Around Social Media Ban

Police said in an attempt to resolve the disquiet over the abolition of the regional self-government, authorities in occupied Cashmire have been cracking down on applications from Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to bypass a long-standing ban on social media.

Social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are still blocked, even after the government restored limited mobile data service and the internet in occupied Kashmir, so residents use VPNs or proxy servers to bypass the restrictions.

Police said many VPN users were trying to stir trouble in occupied Kashmir and were liable to face action.

“We have identified 100 social media users and are in the process of identifying more users for misuse of social media, for disseminating fake and false secessionist, anti-India propaganda,” said the cyber police chief Tahir Ashraf.

Police have filed a case against social media users who are using proxy servers to access messaging networks and stir up anti-India propaganda, a spokesman said.

Through VPNs, users can route the data connection of a smartphone or a laptop through a private server instead of the local internet service provider’s network. That allows the user to access sites that are locally blocked.

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