Tuesday, 4 February 2020
'Viva La VPN': Kashmiris use VPN apps to skirt social media ban
Access to social media remains blocked despite lifting of internet ban six months after region's autonomy was revoked.
Last week, India restored limited internet access in Kashmir after close to six months - the longest in a democracy - but major social media sites remain blocked for seven million residents of the Muslim-majority region.
People have resorted to virtual private network (VPN) apps in a bid to bypass the firewall to access social media websites. VPNs use proxy servers that allow users to change their location to circumvent regional internet blockades.
Widely popular social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram continue to be blocked.
Authorities in India-administered Kashmir resumed slow-speed 2G services on Friday but granted access to only 300 odd "whitelisted" websites, which include tax collection, education, banking and government department websites.