Feeds

Note to despots: You can't kill the internet

Burma's wave of dissent floods through firewall

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The latest reports from the turmoil in Burma say at least one person died and many were wounded today when police again shot at protesters on the streets of Rangoon.

Until now, one of the most striking things about the monk-led uprising has been the volume of information that has been escaping about the usually secretive regime's activities.

Citizens have been using mobile phones, cyber cafes, and according to some reports, internet connections controlled by foreign embassies to get news to the outside world.

A picture of blood-stained sandals on the streets of burma today

Blood on the streets [via ko-htike.blogspot.com]

The junta now seems to have recognised that worldwide communications networks make the kind of hammer blow it delivered when it murdered 3,000 democracy campaigners in 1989 a difficult PR proposition. According to free speech advocate Reporters Without Borders, they've swooped to cut off channels over the last few days.

Happily, it doesn't seem to be working too well, thanks to the ingenuity of the Burmese people. According to The Asia Times: Thanks to the growing global proliferation of proxy servers, proxy sites, encrypted e-mail accounts, http tunnels and other creative workarounds, the cyber-reality in Myanmar [Burma] is actually much less restricted than ONI's research indicated." A 2005 Study by Havard's OPenNet Initiative (ONI) had said that Burma's internet censorship "was among the tightest in the World."

The pressure group Democratic Voice of Burma has up-to-date accounts of the uprising here, and the BBC is posting first-hand reports here.

London-based blogger Ko Htike's site features more eyewitness accounts and pictures of the military crackdown. He reported at 3pm today (Burma time):

right now they're using fire engines

and hitting people

and dragging them onto E2000 trucks

and most of them are girls

and people are shouting

The few professional journalists operating in the country are delivering reports via satellite phones that the regime cannot interfere with.

Despite the growing international outcry over current events, an emergency meeting of the UN security council on Wednesday mustered only a "statement of concern". Burma's near neighbour and trade partner China has by all accounts led moves to block sanctions. The European Parliament called on China and Russia to drop their opposition to sanctions today.

China is, of course, expert in supressing online dissent itself. It'll play host to the world at the Olympics in Beijing next summer, and cannot afford a bloodbath on its doorstep as it tries to sell "new China".

According to The Reg's technical team, we've had 216 readers visit us from Burma since 1 September. Good luck to you if you're still reading. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.