Govt in two minds on social media

Minister of Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando said that a decision on lifting restrictions on social media would be taken on Monday, but Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) says no such decision has been taken.

TRCSL Media Manager Kapila Gamage said that the Commission had not taken a decision on the restrictions imposed on social media platforms. He added that the TRCSL had not given thought to preventing people from accessing the internet through VPNs. Although a person can use VPNs to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, telecommunications service providers can monitor their activities.

Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bryce Hutchesson yesterday, joined several of his colleagues, to urge the government that it was time to lift the restrictions imposed on social media.

"Time, overdue, to lift Sri Lanka’s blanket blocking of key social media platforms - a blunt instrument," Hutchesson tweeted. Earlier, a number of other diplomats stationed in Sri Lanka, including US Ambassador Atul Keshap, urged the government to lift restrictions on social media.

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