wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Myanmar military temporarily blocks Facebook after deposing Suu Kyi govt

Myanmar Flag

Myanmar’s junta blocked Facebook and other messaging services on February 4, ostensibly to ensure “stability” following a coup in which they overthrew the democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, according to multiple publications. Officials announced on Facebook that the social media platform would be blocked for the sake of “stability” starting February 4 until the midnight of February 7. Half of Myanmar’s 54 million people use Facebook, which has also become a platform to express anger and dissent against the coup, reported BBC News.

Internet access monitoring website Netblocks reported that Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp servers were restricted on state-owned telecom provider MPT and multiple ISPs. “Data show variations by provider, with MPT targeting a wider range of the company’s services than Telenor,” Netblocks said. Some companies restricted access to the Facebook website and others blocked the wider suite of Facebook products and mobile apps, it added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Norwegian telecom company Telenor expressed “grave concerns” regarding “breach of human rights” around the blockage, while complying with the directive, per The Myanmar Times. While the directive has legal basis in Myanmar law, Telenor “does not believe that the request is based on necessity and proportionality, in accordance with international human rights law”.
The military junta, led by armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing, held a coup on February 1 and installed an 11-member junta, ending a brief period of civilian rule. Suu Kyi, who has been the country’s de-facto leader, was detained, along with President Win Myint, and charges were filed against them on Wednesday. Charges against Suu Kyi include possession of unlawful communication devices, i.e. walkie-talkies used by her security staff.

On the day of the coup, mobile internet services and certain phone services were suspended in the country. The Telenor Group said connectivity was restored by the morning of February 2 and that “it is important for us to enable open communication lines for our customers in Myanmar”.

The move to ban Facebook comes amidst international pressure on the junta to accept the results of the November elections, which placed Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is power. The NLD won 80% of the country’s vote in the November polls, a result which the military refused to accept, alleging fraud in voting.

The Telenor Group told Reuters that it had no choice but to comply with the directive to block Facebook. “While the directive has basis in Myanmar law, Telenor does not believe that the request is based on necessity and proportionality, in accordance with international human rights law,” it said in a statement to the publication. A Facebook spokesman urged authorities to restore connectivity “so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and  access important information”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Meanwhile, Facebook had earlier removed the page of junta-owned Myawaddy TV Network, stating that it was linked to one of the military-linked organisations banned in 2018 for violating its policies against violence and hate, per the Myanmar Times.

On February 3, internet services were restored in eight townships in Rakhine and Chin states. The network in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Myabon, Paletwa, Ponnagyun, Myauk-U, Kyauktaw and Minbya was restored after “all operators received a directive to open from the Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications Department”, the Telenor Group said in a statement. Internet was restored once it was first cut off in these areas in June 2019.

Also read:

Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.

News

Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.

News

The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ