Myanmar junta cyber bill would violate rights, critics say

(Reuters) - Cyber-security laws floated by Myanmar's new junta to allow it to ban content it dislikes, restrict internet providers and intercept data would violate human rights, a group of civil society organisations said on Wednesday. The 36 pages outlining the proposed laws were given to mobile operators and telecoms license holders for comment on Tuesday - just over a week after the army overthrew the elected government of Aun San Suu Kyi, a statement from the groups said. Spokesmen for the government and the telecommunication ministry did not answer their phones

Reuters February 11, 2021 00:12:20 IST
Myanmar junta cyber bill would violate rights, critics say

Myanmar junta cyber bill would violate rights critics say

(Reuters) - Cyber-security laws floated by Myanmar's new junta to allow it to ban content it dislikes, restrict internet providers and intercept data would violate human rights, a group of civil society organisations said on Wednesday.

The 36 pages outlining the proposed laws were given to mobile operators and telecoms license holders for comment on Tuesday - just over a week after the army overthrew the elected government of Aun San Suu Kyi, a statement from the groups said.

Spokesmen for the government and the telecommunication ministry did not answer their phones. Reuters was not able to independently verify the document, dated Feb. 6, which has circulated widely in Myanmar.

"The so-called bill includes clauses which violate human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, data protection and privacy, and other democratic principles and human rights in the online space," said the statement, signed by more than 150 organisations.

A copy of the proposed bill, reviewed by Reuters, says its aims include protecting the public and preventing crimes and the use of electronic technology to harm the state or its stability.

It says internet providers would have to prevent or remove content deemed to "cause hatred, destroy unity and tranquillity" to be "untruthful news or rumours" or to be inappropriate to Myanmar's culture, such as pornography.

Spokesmen for internet firm Myanmar Net and mobile operator Telenor said they were not aware of the proposed bill.

Days after seizing power, Myanmar's military rulers banned Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms where its critics had voiced opposition. The junta blocked the Internet for a day, but that did not stop the biggest protests in more than a decade against the coup.

The civil society groups accused the junta of drafting the bill to restrict the mobilisation of its opponents.

Myanmar was one of the world's most isolated countries under juntas between 1962 and 2011, when a quasi-civilian government began liberalisation.

(Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Peter Graff)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.