Myanmar Military Government Orders Telecom Networks To Block Facebook Access

Myanmar's new military government has ordered local telecommunication companies to temporarily block access to Facebook till Feb 7. This come days after the country's military seized control on power deposing the democratically-elected government.

According to telecom operator Telenor, "All mobile operators, internationally gateways and internet service providers in Myanmar received a directive on 3 February 2021 from the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) to temporarily block social media service Facebook."

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However, the Norwegian telecom operator went on to add that though "the directive has legal basis in Myanmar law, Telenor does not believe that the request is based on necessity and proportional, in accordance with international human rights law."

Myanmar's new military-run government alleges that Facebook is contributing to instability in the country and in its order it cited a section of the local telecom law that justifies many actions for the greater benefit of public and state.

Facebook has confirmed the ban which is reportedly expected to last until Feb. 7 to ensure stability returns to the troubles country.

"Telecom providers in Myanmar have been ordered to temporarily block Facebook. We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with family and friends and access important information," a Facebook spokesperson said.

Independent internet monitor NetBlocks reports that Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and as well Instagram have all been blocked by state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).

"Facebook products are now restricted on multiple internet providers in #Myanmar as operators comply with an apparent blocking order," NetBlocks said in a tweet.

An estimated 22 million people use Facebook in Myanmar out of a population of around 54 million.

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