Feeds

Note to despots: You can't kill the internet

Burma's wave of dissent floods through firewall

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.