Myanmar junta cracking down on efforts to work around internet controls

The regime is pressuring internet service providers to block software that enables users to access Facebook and banned media websites

Internet service providers in Myanmar are coming under growing pressure from the country’s military regime to prevent users from accessing information about the struggle to end its rule.

According to telecoms operators, the junta has threatened to cut off internet services unless providers block Virtual Private Network (VPN) software commonly used to work around a ban on social media and local independent media websites.

“They are forcing us to block certain sites, not just Facebook,” said an engineer for a local mobile telecoms company. “They sent us a notice letter, saying they’ll cut off internet services if we don’t block VPNs.”

Myanmar Now reached out to several internet service providers for comment about the crackdown on VPNs, but did not receive a response.

VPN software is used to encrypt internet users’ personal data by hiding their Internet Protocol, or IP, address, allowing them to unblock websites and. . .

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