comscore Creating a WhatsApp group in Jammu & Kashmir will soon require a license
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Creating a WhatsApp group in Jammu & Kashmir will soon require a license

The J&K government has come up with an unusual method to clamp down on the use of WhatsApp by requiring group admins to get a license.

whatsapp-stock-image

To ensure user privacy and security, WhatsApp recently introduced end-to-end encryption for its over a billion user base. With that in place, the government in Jammu & Kashmir has come with an unusual method to keep a tab on the messaging platform. A circular issued by Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir requires users who want to start a WhatsApp news group to first apply for a license. Also Read - How to temporarily deactivate/permanently delete WhatsApp account

Also Read - WhatsApp COVID-19 relief efforts: How you can get resources during the pandemic

“It is impressed upon all the Admins of WhatsApp news groups of the district to get the registration of their WhatsApp news groups in the office of undersigned within 10 days,” the circular reads. The circular is signed by the District Magistrate of Kupwara. The Additional District Informatics Officer at Kupwara will be in charge of the District Social Media Center. This Center will be responsible for registration of the WhatsApp groups, and will also keep a track of messages shared on these groups. Also Read - Good news! Jio users can now check COVID-19 vaccine slots on WhatsApp - here's how

The circular also states that group admins will be responsible for any and everything that is shared on the WhatsApp groups. It also carries a stern warning that action will be taken against admins who do not register their groups, and also if a group were to share ‘irresponsible remarks/deals leading to untoward incidents’.

The circular comes at a time when the situation is a bit tense in the state, especially after the recent Handwara firing incident. In order to stop the spread of incriminatory messages and rumors, the state government had recently suspended Internet and mobile Internet in Kashmir. Services were only restored after a couple of days.

ALSO READ: Users sending 3 times more messages on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger than SMS

In a time when freedom of speech and privacy are being widely discussed and debated, this is quite a regressive step by the Kashmir state government. It also proves shows that the people in charge have little to no idea of how to control what’s being shared on WhatsApp.

Facebook recently, revealed that users were sending up to three times more messages on WhatsApp and Messenger than SMS on a daily basis. We will have to wait and see if the state government has the man power and technology to keep a track of such volume. BGR India has reached out to Facebook, and we will update the story when we hear from them.

Not surprisingly, users on social media are far from pleased with this latest move and are expressing their anger and disappointment. Here are a few tweets we have come across so far.

 

 

 

 

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  • Published Date: April 19, 2016 2:17 PM IST
  • Updated Date: April 20, 2016 8:51 AM IST



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