Since the February 1 military coup The military has imposed restrictions on the Burmese citizens’ right to internet access. This restriction, which is meant to protect the power of the military is both a barrier to access information as well as stifles the country’s economy.
In the aftermath of the coup, the military closed down Internet access. The network has been experiencing severe disruptions. The outages have affected a variety of networks including international operators as well as mobile services, as per reports in the media.
Reporters aren’t able to post news and families aren’t able to access the information necessary to safeguard themselves from COVID-19. Likewise, businesses suffer, particularly the tens of thousands of entrepreneurs running online companies.
“The entire digital economy was destroyed when they began blocking mobile internet access,” an entrepreneur from Rangoon spoke to the non-profit news site Rest of World. The outlet claims that the regime’s network disruptions are believed to have “gutted” hundreds of small-scale internet companies. To Protests myanmar netblocksfingasengadget.
The economic burden on Burma is more than $24 million per day According to estimates from NetBlocks an organization that is not a government agency which monitors internet usage.
The United States and partner nations are insisting on a return to democratic principles and the end of military violent attacks against peaceful demonstrators. After the coup the military in Burma has killed over 700 protesters and held thousands of people including elected journalists, activists, and officials.
Information access is an essential human right that is enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom House calls internet shutdowns an unwieldy tool that could cause “an enormous, devastating effect” on the society.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently condemned government-imposed shut downs of the internet and other methods that hinder freedom of speech online.
The Burmese military’s shutdown of the internet has not just hampered the news or social media websites. They’ve also shut down a mobile app that lets users track the spread of the coronavirus and identify affected areas according to the Open Observatory of Network Interference that opposes internet censorship.
Burmese companies harmed by suppression of farms, that research prices on the internet, and national companies that also depend on technology that is digital to operate, Reuters reports.
Oliver Spencer, of Free Expression Myanmar Oliver Spencer, of Free Expression Myanmar military’s shutdowns of networks harm all. “Shutting down the internet is supposed as just one example of their power in the absolute sense,” he told Wired magazine. “But it’s an act of self-harm that’s massive.”
In the end, this harm is affecting the country’s 54 million residents who largely depend on the internet wirelessly for information. “As protests increase and the goal of this shutdown will be to create fear and prevent people from communicating, organizing protests or accessing important data,” the Centre for International Governance Innovation states.