Internet providers in Myanmar blocks Facebook services after government order.

Days after military leaders seized power in a coup in Myanmar and now the internet providers including the state-owned telecom MPT are blocked access to Facebook Inc-owned services in the country till 7 February. 

Internet providers in Myanmar blocks Facebook services after government order.
image source: The Straits Times

Days after military leaders seized power in a coup in Myanmar and now the internet providers including the state-owned telecom MPT are blocked access to Facebook Inc-owned services in the country till 7 February. 

The Ministry of Communications and Information posted a letter online saying that the Facebook will be blocked till 7 February for the sake of “stability.” The letter from the Ministry said “Currently the people who are troubling the country’s stability and are spreading fake news and misinformation and causing misunderstanding among people by using Facebook,”

Since then, the Network monitoring group Net Blocks confirmed state-owned telecom MPT has blocked Facebook as well as its Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp services. Norway’s Telenor Asa said it has just blocked Facebook to comply with the order. The directive was received by all mobile operators and internet service providers on Wednesday. 

Telenor expressed “grave concern” and said “While the directive has legal basis in Myanmar law, it does not believe that the request is based on necessity and proportionality, in accordance with international human rights law,” 

Andy Stone spokesman of Facebook acknowledged the issue saying “We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information,” 

U.N. human rights investigators have previously said hate speech on Facebook had played a key role in fomenting violence in Myanmar. This week, Facebook said it was treating the situation in Myanmar as an emergency and taking temporary measures to protect against harm such as removing content that praises or supports the coup, according to a spokeswoman.