Kashmir: The Cold War and The Proxy Servers

By Liah Qureshi

A Poor Decision by a Mismanaged Government.
Image result for use of VPNs

With the changing times and the changing technology, a ban first on the Internet and then on social media can prove fatal to the government of J&K, as the youths who were born and bought up in the Internet era are directly affected.

But who is there to make this government understand that this step is one of the uncountable detrimental ones it has taken so far, it can push the already retrograding situation to the wall and things can turn bitter in no time.

Keeping this in mind, after the social media was banned in Kashmir, should we say thankfully the teens got to know about the VPN apps, thus providing a way out of the ‘caged Internet freedom’ that Kashmiries are experiencing.

The real reason for the social media ban was the widespread of the videos where the atrocities done by the Indian Army/CRPF/Men in Uniform were uploaded AND for heaven’s sake what human can see people being almost buttered by the men in uniform for no reason and then, of course, how can we forget that we have the government who is of no use other than to rub salt in our wounds by bringing no justice to the victims of this disputed land.

To put a curtain on what the current J&K government sees as another uprising, they first banned the internet. But seeing the situation deteriorate they restored the 2G services.

And as their ill fate had it, they had to restore the 3G/4G services cause the losses were far more than the benefits of capping the internet.

And when nothing seemed to work the Mehbooba Mufti government tried banning Kashmiris from the social media services.

Not just the major social media site like Facebook, twitter, and WhatsApp were blocked but in all, there were 22 social media services that have been officially banned in Kashmir for at least a month.
The 22 sites include Facebook, Twitter, QQ, WeChat, Qzone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reddit, Snapfish, YouTube, Vine, Xangra, Buzznet, and Flickr.

The unpredictable stop on Social media service lead to the use of VPNs in the valley, the VPN uses proxy servers and changes the location of the user from the current one to the one the user wants to thus the websites/apps that are blocked for one location can be accessed freely by changing the location to some other country.

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The only stumbling block of using VPN is that the speed decreases drastically and thus it becomes difficult to load the videos that are being shared on these websites, which now takes us back to the reason for this ban that was basically to prevent the rapid share of videos of encounters, searches and funerals. .

The motive of this Social Media ban has been fulfilled even if the Kashmiri people are able to dig a tunnel to these social media services. The state and the center government has earned more censure and ill will if that was possible. As to whether it will work to diffuse the protests, highly unlikely.

Will this ban be helpful in containing the situation of Kashmir or will it add fuel to the fire?

What do you think? Share your views regarding this situation and write to me at
www.twitter.com/LiahQureshi

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