• AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
    1 month ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:

    BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s military government has launched a major effort to block free communication on the Internet, shutting off access to virtual private networks, or VPNs, which can be used to circumvent blockages of banned websites and services.

    Reports in local media say the attack on internet usage includes random street searches of people’s mobile phones to check for VPN applications, with a fine if any are found, though it is unclear if payments are an official measure.

    On Friday, the Burmese-language service of U.S. Government-funded Radio Free Asia reported that about 25 people from Myanmar’s central coastal Ayeyarwady region were arrested and fined by security forces this week after VPN apps were found on their mobile phones.

    As the army faces strong armed challenges from pro-democracy guerrillas across the country in what amounts to a civil war, it has also made a regular practice of shutting down civilian communications in areas where fighting is going on.

    The resistance scored a victory in the cybersphere when Facebook and other major social media platforms banned members of the Myanmar military, because of their alleged violations of human and civil rights, and also blocked ads from most military-linked commercial entities.

    Internet users, including online retail sellers, have been complaining for the past two weeks of major slowdowns, saying they were not able to watch or upload videos and posts or send messages easily.

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