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Myanmar Crisis

Myanmar junta plans restricted 'intranet' to silence opposition

Report urges global community to block military access to dual-use technology

A soldier uses a mobile phone inside a military vehicle in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb. 15.   © Reuters

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Moves by Myanmar's military regime to establish a restricted, national intranet underscore the junta's dilemma over allowing online access to business while silencing anti-coup opposition. Recent efforts to "whitelist" individuals or entities as part of the plan follow the imposition of internet blackouts and highlight the spiraling parallel battle over online access, notes a report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.

The report comes days after the Global Network Initiative, an alliance of more than 60 internet, telecoms and civil society groups, and the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business issued a joint statement criticizing the whitelisting approach and requesting a return to full online access for all websites and services.

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