Nay Pyi Taw, 6 October

Myanmar has become the second worst country in the world in terms of internet freedom index in the two and a half years since the military coup, according to a report by a US-based group, Freedom House.

Myanmar’s internet freedom index had a rank of 31st prior to the military coup, and it has now reached its lowest point after the coup.

According to a Freedom House report, China has the worst digital repression of any country in the world, while internet freedom in Myanmar has been declining since the coup.

According to the report, internet freedom has declined as a result of the junta’s direct and indirect control on telecommunications providers, as well as blocking to prevent CDM activity and dissent.

In addition, the military council has forced Internet users to register personal information and pressured telecommunications companies to intercept them, the report said.

A resident of Sagaing told Than Lwin Times, “We have not had access to the Internet for two years, and if the military convoy approaches, we will not be able to get any information to hide.”

Since the coup, the military council has cut off the internet in many townships in Sagaing, Magwe and Tanintharyi, including Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, and Rakhine states, where revolutionary forces are active.

Military supporters, on the other hand, are using Telegram and social media to push the military council for arresting political opponents and pro-democracy activists.

According to data obtained by Than Lwin Times, over 100 account holders have been arrested in the past two months for criticism of the military regime on social media.

A resident who did not want to be named criticized that “Blocking the internet access is intended to cover up the information about the military council’s brutality against the people.”

According to locals, those without internet connections have to travel miles to the mountains and high-altitude places to access the internet.

According to Freedom House, the military council banned Internet access and sentenced anti-coup activists and opponents to severe prison terms for criticizing them online.

According to Freedom House’s study report, because of the crackdown on Internet freedom, foreign telecom corporations like Telenor and Ooredoo have handed over their operations to companies allied to the military and left Myanmar.

News-Than Lwin Times


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