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Myanmar junta steps up policing of Internet

Myanmar's junta arrests one blogger who wrote about the stifling of free expression in the military-ruled nation, a media advocacy group says.

world Updated: Jan 31, 2008 10:08 IST

Myanmar's junta has stepped up surveillance of the Internet, arresting one blogger who wrote about the stifling of free expression in the military-ruled nation, a media advocacy group says.



The blogger, Nay Myo Latt, was taken into custody in Yangon yesterday after writing about the suppression of freedoms following last fall's crushing of pro-democracy demonstrations, Reporters Without Borders said.



Nay Myo Latt, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, owns three Internet cafes, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a release seen today.



Myanmar authorities, the release said, have stepped up their surveillance of the Internet since the beginning of the month, pressuring Internet cafe owners to register personal details of all users and to program screen captures every five minutes on each computer.



This data is apparently sent to the Ministry of Communications, it said.



The only blog platform that had been accessible within Myanmar, the Google-owned Blogger, has been blocked by the regime since January 23, preventing bloggers from posting entries unless they use proxies or other ways to get around censorship, the group said.



"This blockage is one of the ways used by the government to reduce Burmese citizens to silence. Burma is in danger of being cut off from the rest of the world again," the statement said.



Despite international condemnation and pressure following the demonstrations, there is little evidence that the junta is easing its repressive rule or moving closer to reconciliation with pro-democracy forces led by Suu Kyi.