[ooni-talk] [NEW Report] Myanmar: Data on internet blocks and internet outages following military coup
maria at openobservatory.org
Tue Mar 9 11:51:31 UTC 2021
Today, in collaboration with IODA and MIDO, we published a new research
report which shares network measurement data on the ongoing internet
blocks and internet outages in Myanmar, following the military coup.
Our report is available here:
In the report, we share OONI data on:
* Blocking of social media (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp,
Instagram, Twitter) in Myanmar;
* Blocking of Wikipedia (primarily seen from 20th February 2021 onwards);
* Blocking of circumvention tool websites (such as protonvpn.com);
* Blocking of Justice for Myanmar (www.justiceformyanmar.org): an
activist campaign which aims to pressure businesses and investors around
the world to divest from Myanmar military businesses;
* Blocking of a COVID-19 website (coronavirus.app);
* Ongoing blocking of news media (which started last year), including a
few ethnic media sites.
Through OONI data, we observe the following:
1) Censorship variance across networks: Internet censorship appears to
vary across networks in Myanmar, as we observe different sites being
blocked on different networks (and the blocks are not implemented on all
2) Variance in censorship techniques:
* IP blocking: In many cases, we observe the IP blocking of websites and
apps across networks in Myanmar.
* DNS based interference: In some cases, ISPs in Myanmar block sites by
means of DNS based interference, returning IP addresses that host block
pages (22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199) or an address in private IP space
(such as 127.0.0.1 or 172.29.8.1). We were able to automatically confirm
these censorship cases.
3) Non-deterministic censorship: Not all IP blocks appear to be
effective. OONI data shows that it is sometimes possible for connections
to go through (even though IP blocks appear to be in place), which is
likely why we observe inconsistent measurements (in terms of
accessibility and blocking).
The report also shares IODA data (along with Google traffic data &
Oracle Internet Intelligence data) on the nightly internet outages that
Myanmar has been experiencing.
The first internet disruption was observed in the early hours of 1st
February 2021 (on the day of the military coup), followed by a second,
higher impact internet outage on 6th February 2021 (which lasted for
almost 30 hours).
As of 15th February 2021, Myanmar has been experiencing complete
internet outages every night (between around 1am to 9am local time).
The findings of this study suggest an alarming shift in Myanmar’s
internet censorship landscape.
In our 2017 study (which examined internet censorship in Myanmar based
on the analysis of all OONI measurements collected between 2016-2017),
we barely found any internet censorship in the country. Now, the ongoing
social media blocks and nightly internet outages raise major human
rights concerns, particularly in light of the current political environment.
We thank OONI Probe users in Myanmar for contributing measurements,
making this study possible!
Please help share this report:
Research & Partnerships Director
Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)
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