Directive to block websites

13 November, 2020 - Yangon

Telenor Myanmar, along with all other mobile operators and internet service providers in Myanmar, received a directive on 10 November 2020 from the Posts and Telecommunications Department (PTD) to block three named websites and introduce keyword filtering relating to the sites.

Telenor Myanmar has complied with the directive to block websites, under protest, and has pointed out its concerns regarding international human rights. It has not complied with the request to filter based on keywords.

The directive is based on Section 77 of the Telecommunications Law, and cites the websites circulating fake news and rumors, as well as copyright infringement, as reasons for the blocking. The directive does not provide a time limitation to the blocking of the websites. Telenor Myanmar is bound by law to keep any further details about the directive confidential. While the authorities of Myanmar have legal basis to order such directives, the practice appears to be incompatible with international human rights law.

Customers in Myanmar trying to access the affected URLs will be directed to a landing page stating that the site cannot be reached due to Myanmar government instruction.

Telenor Myanmar continues its dialogue with authorities to protest such website blockings, seeking to limit or lift restrictions and encourage the government of Myanmar to increase transparency for the public.

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