Phnom Penh, 6 February 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Myanmar‘s military has ordered local telecommunications providers to temporarily block Twitter and Instagram after imposing similar restrictions on Facebook earlier in the week, local media reported on Saturday.
The orders by the Ministry of Transport and Communications come as a civil disobedience campaign has gained momentum since Monday’s coup.
The Myanmar regime ordered mobile operators and internet service providers to block Twitter and Instagram from Friday night, the Myanmar Times and the news portal The Irrawaddy reported.
Access to Facebook, where many had been organizing resistance to the coup, was blocked until Monday. The regime said the platform was contributing to instability in the country.
Telenor Myanmar, a telecoms operator inside the country, on Friday confirmed that it had received the directive, adding that the order to block Twitter and Instagram would stand “until further notice.”
The company said in a statement that it is “gravely concerned with this development in Myanmar, and emphasises that freedom of expression through access to communication services should be maintained at all times, especially during times of conflict.”
NetBlocks, which tracks internet usage and cybersecurity, reported that “Myanmar is now in the midst of a second nation-scale internet blackout” as of 10 am (0330 GMT) Saturday.
“Real-time network data show national connectivity falling to 54 [per cent] of ordinary levels as users report difficultly getting online,” NetBlocks said on Twitter.
Posts and hashtags calling for people to perform acts of civil disobedience have gone viral since the military arrested top government officials, including the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in early morning raids on Monday.