world war E
dispatches from the network society

burma cuts off internet

Reports are in that the Burmese government has severed that country’s internet links to the outside world in an effort to halt the global distribution of news and images of repression, using the guise of a damaged cable. While many countries selectively control the inflow of information (viz. Zimbabwe), these reports – if correct – demonstrate that controlling the outflow of information is equally important to preserving repressive regimes.

CNN Asia interviews Burmese blogger Ko Htike, whose digest of news and images was a major source of information for Western journalists that lack access to Burma. According to Ko Htike, “If [people who take pictures] get caught, you will never know their future. Maybe just disappear or maybe life in prison or maybe dead.”

“If I can publish these kind of [photos] and this kind of news to the world, so maybe they may stop a little bit.”

We hope so.

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2 Responses to “burma cuts off internet”

  1. His website is reporting that the government is burning the bodies of civilians killed by police. Proving, again, that information–or the deprivation of it–is what regimes like these survive on.

  2. Listing “pressure” from other, key countries among the 5 major factors necessary for successful political upheaval, the BBC reports: “the [Burmese] regime has blocked off the media, including the new phenomenon of the internet, which [had] proved instrumental in helping to mobilise opinion abroad.”


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