The government in Jammu and Kashmir is struggling to keep the media abreast of its day-to-day activities after Google blocked its mails for sending messages to bulk recipients.
For the past more than a month, the information department has not been able to mail press releases to majority of the journalists after the department’s gmail accounts, used to send bulk mails, were blocked by the American technological giant.
An official of the department said two gmail accounts of the department were blocked in November, 2015.
“They blocked us for sending bulk mails to bulk recipients. For them, it is an unlawful activity,” added the official.
Director general information and public relations Zaffar Ahmad Bhat confirmed the development to Hindustan Times.
“We were very liberal in sending emails to all the journalists. But, gmail blocked our accounts. We even offered them to pay but nothing has come out till date,” said Bhat.
“They are very suspicious about our bulk messages, not realising that we are a government organisation,” he said.
On an average, the department used to send five mails daily to as many as 1,500 editors, reporters and photojournalists. Each mail was send to 500 recipients at a time, with around a dozen pictures attached with each mail.
“We have now created new accounts but we are not able to send mails to bulk recipients. Most of them are not getting delivered,” he said.
The official said that now they have reduced the number of recipients to 300.
“Rather than sending it to everybody, we have decided to send releases to one email account of each news organisation. Mostly the mails are directed to editors and senior staff. We can’t send a mail to more than 30 accounts at a time,” he said.
“The process has become very cumbersome,” he added.
The department is now uploading press releases on its websites to cater to the growing calls of journalists for the daily information flow.
The government has also approached the National Institute of Electronic and Information Technology (NIELIT) for a solution.
“We want to have a system in place where there are no limitations. We would love to reach out to as many people as possible and hope that problems will be solved within a fortnight,” added Bhat.