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Myanmar government shuts off Internet, cell phones

Posted on Friday, September 28 2007 @ 21:17:18 CEST by

CNET reports Burma's military government has cut off citizens' Internet access and cell phone lines:
Burma--officially the Union of Myanmar--is already labeled by watchdog groups as one of the most restrictive locales in the world when it comes to blocking Internet content. But like in China and other censorship-happy countries, dissidents have come up with technological work-arounds such as proxies that connect them directly to computers outside the prohibitive country.

Now there are widespread reports that public Internet cafes have been shut down, most of the country's cell phone lines have been disconnected, and the remaining Internet access has made uploading photos and video of scenes on the ground a snail-like process. Some groups are exploring buying expensive but less easily restricted satellite phones to continue their dispatches, according to a Friday report in The Wall Street Journal.

Some news agencies have reported being told that the Internet connection has been brought down by a damaged undersea cable, but diplomats and citizens said they suspect the government is involved. The shutdown apparently did nothing to keep at least 10,000 protesters from assembling Friday.

Whatever the reason, the technological restrictions are significant because the Internet has emerged as one of the primary channels for sharing images, videos and accounts of the nonviolent demonstrations.
More info over here.



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