THE SMS BAN IN JAMMU KASHMIR – DOES IT REALLY HELP SECURITY?
The government’s ban on SMS for pre paid users in J&K has been a hotly debated for quite some time now. Lawmakers say the ban is necessary for our security, and this quietened down those demanding that the ban be lifted. Is this claim really true, though? Does the ban really prevent terrorists from communicating with each other–or does it only harass ordinary people?
To understand this question, let us have a glance at the ground realities of the SMS ban in our state.
According to sources the data collected of the two biggest telecom networks in our state, BSNL and Airtel subscribers are as follows-
|NETWORK||TOTAL CONNECTIONS||PRE-PAID USERS|
|BSNL||12 Lakhs||9 lakhs|
9 Lakhs pre-paid BSNL users by default use GPRS Services. This means What’s App, Facebook and other messaging services are freely available to them. For a variety of technical reasons, these services are actually much harder for the government to monitor than SMS. As Vishu Kohli has said, ”The state government is not aware that, in spite of the ban, people are using net services on prepaid services and using What’s App, Viber, WeChat, Line for SMS, that too absolutely free.”
Airtel users too avail such offers at just rupees 9 for 3G and rupees 22 for 2G.
Khursheed Muzaffar a resident of J&K says, “because of the SMS Ban the risk of online financial transactions has increased manifold as banks are not able to send transactions and other related alerts to customers”.
All this leads us to ponder over a simple question: is it really justifiable to continue with the ban on SMS services in our state? Terrorism is a major threat everywhere in the world-but nowhere in the world has SMS on prepaid connections been banned because of it. In fact, terrorists also know that SMS is easy to monitor-and therefore don’t use it for their communications.
If you feel that ban should be lifted from the SMS services for pre paid mobile users in our state than join hands with us and sign a petition to become the voice to fight against this issue with us.
Kindly, support the petition to revoke ban on sms for prepaid services in J&K by clicking the link mentioned below and sign it.