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Telco in Myanmar stops listing outages, citing fears for employees

Telco in Myanmar stops listing outages, citing fears for employees

On Saturday, Feb 13, 2021, Myanmar was plunged into its second Internet shutdown of the week, almost completely halting the frenetic flow of news out of the country (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

OSLO: Norwegian telecom operator Telenor on Monday (Feb 15) said that concerns for its employees' safety had stopped it listing forced Internet outages in Myanmar following the Feb 1 military coup.

READ: Myanmar experiencing 'near-total Internet shutdown'

While the junta has repeatedly forced Internet providers to shut down or restrict access since seizing power, Telenor attempted transparency by listing the ordered outages on its website.

But it posted on Sunday that "it is currently not possible for Telenor to disclose the directives we receive from the authorities" in Myanmar, adding that "we deeply regret that the list on this site will no longer be updated".

Spokeswoman Hanne Langeland Knudsen told AFP on Monday that "our overall judgement of the situation now means that we can't communicate about the directives," saying that the situation in Myanmar is "confused and unclear" and that "our employees' security has had top priority from the start".

Telenor has been active in Myanmar since 2014 and last year employed 747 people there.

At present, telecoms services are heavily disrupted, with UK-based monitoring group NetBlocks tweeting on Monday evening that the country was under a "near-total internet shutdown" for the second night in a row.

READ: More protests after Myanmar military government cuts Internet, deploys troops

Repeated Internet blackouts have not prevented thousands of people taking to the streets in Myanmar's major cities and far-flung villages alike, although the generals on Monday deployed extra troops as their crackdown intensified.

Source: AFP/vc
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