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The Rise of Online Censorship and Surveillance in Myanmar: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

by Phyu Phyu Kyaw

Nov 1, 2020

This research study seeks to identify the various surveillance and censorship technologies and strategies deployed by the government and military in Myanmar. In doing so, the study utilizes a diverse combination of analytical methods including technical network measurements, interviews, and key research analysis of newspaper archives, media reports, and government publications. Throughout the overall assessment process, the study focuses not only on technology but also on offline spaces and legal loopholes which tend to obscure transparency and allow the authorities in Myanmar to implement surveillance and censorship practices in unchecked manners.

The goal of this project is to shine a light on these troublesome tactics helping both the people of Myanmar as well as other internet freedom researchers around the world. In countries such as Myanmar where information on existing surveillance practices is limited this type of research is all the more difficult - and important - to conduct. It is therefore the hope of this study the information produced by this research serves as a seed that will ultimately sprout and grow into a tree of resistance hope and change.

The study begins with an overview of Myanmar's relevant political and internet-based background. Next the study's methodologies and limitations are discussed. The core of the study is then devoted to findings from research and measurements followed by findings from interviews. Finally, the study finishes with concluding thoughts and key acknowledgements.