Tech analysts find loopholes in JK’s Internet whitelist

Tech analysts find loopholes in JK’s Internet whitelist

The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s whitelisting of websites as part of its attempt to restore limited Internet is fraught with loopholes, tech analysts who researched the list have concluded. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 7

The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s whitelisting of websites as part of its attempt to restore limited Internet is fraught with loopholes, tech analysts who researched the list have concluded.

Technology analysts and researchers, Rohini Lakshane and Prateek Waghre, said they ran a workability test of the websites which were whitelisted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in recent weeks and found that many had usability issues.

“We wanted to understand how these websites will work and look under this whitelist regime … Of these (153 websites in the first whitelist) we found (nearly) 80 websites were not practically usable,” Waghre said in a series of tweets in which he summed the findings.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration ended a record-long Internet suspension last month following the directions of the Supreme Court, but limited the access to the low-speed 2G. It also restricted the access to the worldwide web, which has nearly two billion websites, and allowed access to 300-odd websites which are revised on a weekly basis.

The two technologists ran mock tests by allowing their browser to access the limited hostnames that are whitelisted by the administration in Jammu and Kashmir. “In perusing the list we found typos, duplicate entries, entries without actual hostnames and some that were indeterminate,” Waghre said. Waghre said, “The way most websites are designed a lot of content comes from subdomains and CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). They also have 3rd party content like analytics services, ads, various libraries that manage the UI (User Interface) etc. None of this worked because there were not on the whitelist.” As a result, he said, “most of the websites were ‘broken’ and different websites affected .

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