After more than 150 days, the blackout is the longest in the history of any democracy, according to digital rights group Access Now. Approximately 7 million people have been affected by the crackdown, which has caused strains on both people’s day-to-day lives and the region’s economy.
“Freedom of Internet access is a fundamental right,” said justice N. V. Ramana. “We think it necessary to reiterate that complete broad suspension of telecom services, be it the Internet or otherwise, being a drastic measure, must be considered by the State only if ‘necessary’ and ‘unavoidable,'” the court said in another passage.
However, the Supreme Court did not order the government to restore Kashmir’s internet immediately, and it’s not clear if it will go about the process gradually or all at once.