Mobiles Hidden in Monks' Robes, Part II

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Nov 04, 2009

This article was written by Emily Jacobi from Digital Democracy. We are publishing her extensive report on Burmese dissidents' use of technology in three parts.  Part I of her report is here.  Names of individuals have been changed to protect their identity. 

Internet crackdown

New technology had fundamentally changed the context inside Burma. Although access at 2007 was less than 1%, even such low penetration of mobile technology and Internet presented a challenge to the regime.

According to a Democratic Voice of Burma TV producer based in Thailand, in the days leading up to the military crackdown, the camera phones concealed in monks' robes and the footage groups like his smuggled out were the only barriers preventing the government from an all-out massacre of protesters.

On Sept. 29, 2007, faced with widespread international condemnation, the junta resorted to a tactic that other governments are increasingly daring in the 21st century and pulled the plug on all internet and mobile phone use in the country, preventing news from coming in or out. The world was watching – and then the screen went blank.

Protests in Myanmar and Mobile Phones

Posted by CorinneRamey on Sep 25, 2007

Thousands of monks have taken to the streets in Myanmar within the past month in pro-democracy demonstrations. Today the Burmese government threatened the monks with legal action.

The government has shut down mobile phone service to pro-democracy supporters, activists, and some foreign journalists, writes the Agence France-Presse. A journalist and photographer from the AFP are among those who have lost phone service, and the agency has requested that Myanmar restore service to the journalists. The National League for Democracy also reports that its landline phone has been cut off, according to this article in The Economic Times.