Kathmandu April 10, 2011: Internet Service Provider’s Association of Nepal (ISPAN) shut down internet service in Nepal from 1PM to 2PM as a part of their protest program. Issuing a press release the ISPAN condemns the Nepal Telecommunications Authority’s act of arresting and forecasting allegation against the internet service providers (ISP) of operating illegal call bypass.
The press release says, “ISPAN condemns such act of misuse of authority by concerned authorities which has adversely affected the daily operation of ISPs and has created fearful environment over job security and investment to expand the services. As part of its protest program, member ISPs will disrupt Internet services from 1pm to 2pm on Sunday April 10, 2011.”
“We simply want a safe environment free from the fear of unwarranted police action to conduct our business and provide the services that we have been licensed to provide. If an ISP is found to be involved in call bypass, we are not against police action. However, an ISP cannot be subjected to police action and harassment simply for providing the Internet connection. We ask that the NTA, Nepal Police, Home Ministry and the Ministry of Information and Communication jointly commit to our demands in writing, and ensure that the past police activities against ISPs are never repeated,” added they.
According to the ISPAN, they had several interactions with Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the Ministry of Information Communications and Nepal Police in the presence of the Home Ministry. During all these interactions, the police assured of through investigation and would end their unwarranted action against ISPs. The police had committed that they would not hold an ISP liable for providing Internet connection to a customer that misuses the service. The ISPs have been fully cooperating with any police investigation by providing all requested information requested through NTA. However, the threat of police action still remains. In the course of investigating a recent case of call bypass recently busted, the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has issued instructions to apprehend the directors and employees of two prominent ISPs.
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