Myanmar Digital Coup Quarterly: November 2022 – January 2023

February 15th, 2023  •  Author:   Myanmar Internet Project , EngageMedia  •  2 minute read

Myanmar has now been under military rule for two years. It is obvious that the military council viewed issues related to information and communication as a military weapon throughout the coup period. Since then, the military council has been arbitrarily limiting, controlling, and banning the communication and information consumption of the public, which are basic human rights.

The military council has conducted various activities to increase restrictions on public information and communication matters, such as enforcing SIM card registrations, cutting telephone lines by location depending on military operations and conflict situations, checking people’s mobile phones, and arresting people who write online posts opposing the junta and those who react with likes and comments on the social media accounts of prominent revolutionists. These incidents of digital oppression were most prominent between November 2022 and January 2023.

This article summarises the digital oppression incidents that occurred between November 2022 to January 2022 (a three-month period).

Summary of digital oppression issues in November 2022

  • Issues related to the enforcement of SIM card registration
    • The military council’s Ministry of Transport and Communications issued tenders for setting up a SIM Registration Management System
    • Announcement to revise SIM card registration data before 31 January 2023
  • Incidents of phone lines being cut
    • Military council installed Mytel wifi routers in Hpakant where mobile internet has been cut off
    • Telenor phone lines cut off in some places of Wetlet township
    • MPT phone lines cut off in Shwegu township
  • Arrests over online speech and checking mobile phones
    • Checking travellers’ phones by providing wifi access at a checkpoint in Thanatpin
    • Zoom class screenshots and student list of Interim Basic Education School (Thingangyun) distributed through a pro-military Telegram channel
    • Military council arrested a young woman in Khamon Kangyi village, Kawa township, Bago division, over a TikTok video mocking Min Aung Hlaing

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