torsdag 23. september 2021

Internet Freedom Collapses in Myanmar, But China Still ‘Worst’ in Rankings: Report

Internet freedom dropped sharply in Myanmar after the military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected government on Feb. 1, with Myanmar’s new military rulers cutting off online access and blocking social media platforms to contain opposition, Freedom House said in an annual report on Tuesday.

Myanmar’s ranking in the rights group’s Freedom on the Net 2021 fell by 14 points, dropping in one year from 31 to 17, the steepest decline recorded in one year in Freedom House reporting, the Washington D.C.-based group said in its report. “As part of its attempt to crush dissent and maintain power, the military junta shut down internet service, blocked social media platforms and websites, seized control of the telecommunications infrastructure, and ramped up intrusive surveillance,” Freedom House said.

In an effort to contain spreading opposition to its overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD)-led civilian government, Myanmar’s Military Council moved quickly after Feb. 1 to block online comment urging resistance to its rule, the rights group said in its report.

“Internet connectivity was cut off every night from then until April, and mobile services were suspended entirely beginning in March, leaving only fixed-line and wireless broadband services available to users during the day.”