Directives from authorities in Myanmar – February-March 2021

On Monday 1 February, a state of emergency was declared under military leadership in Myanmar. The situation in Myanmar is irregular and uncertain, and the authorities are establishing procedures for issuing directives towards operators. Telenor handles these according to its defined processes for authority directives. At Telenor we remain committed to our principle of transparency and we will publish information regarding authority directives on this page.

Challenges and dilemmas in Myanmar

Under the current circumstances, Telenor faces several dilemmas in Myanmar. We entered Myanmar in 2013 with a clear ambition to support the country in its progress towards democracy and economic development. The recent events represent a set-back for the country’s path to reform. Access to telecom services is essential for people to exercise their basic right to freedom of opinion and expression, and to gain information. These services are also critical in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for economic opportunities. When following authority orders in these irregular times, we know it has negative impact on human rights in Myanmar. We are working to minimise this impact, and Telenor continues to emphasise to the authorities that access to telecom services should be maintained at all times.

Keeping the network open and adhering to our established process continues to be important

Keeping open communication lines for the people in Myanmar is important, and Telenor continues to follow its established global process for handling authority directives. Each directive is assessed for legal basis, human rights impact, necessity and proportionality and our ability to be transparent.

As a local employer, Telenor Myanmar needs to handle a difficult situation and ensure the safety and security of employees on the ground during this state of emergency. Our ambition is to continue to take action, and to keep the local and global community informed. Telenor is deeply concerned with events in Myanmar and continues to assess the situation on ground.

Nationwide network status* in Myanmar:

All network services are running as normal.

*Technical issues might still occur and will not be reported here.

 

Orders and directives received in the period after 1 February 2021:

Update 01.03.201: Referencing our last update, Telenor wants to be transparent about the directives we receive from the authorities, and we had published all of them up until 14 February. We continue to operate in an unpredictable situation in Myanmar and based on a holistic evaluation where we have to balance our principle of transparency with the safety of our employees, it is still not possible for Telenor to disclose the directives. We recognise the impact this has on the local and international community’s ability to receive information and we regret that this currently continues. Our process for handling authority directives includes requiring a written order, and assessing each individual directive based on legal basis, necessity, proportionality and human rights impact. This remains unchanged. You can read more about Telenor’s global process for handling directives from the authorities here.

Update 14.2.21: It is currently not possible for Telenor to disclose the directives we receive from the authorities. We are gravely concerned with this development and recognise the impact this has on the local and international community’s ability to receive information. We deeply regret that the list on this site will no longer be updated.

 

Date Directive/activity Status
14.02.2021 Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses and URLs Active
13.02.2021
Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses Active
12.02.2021 Directive on temporary (but open ended) targeted blocking of access to service Active
12.02.2021 Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses Active
11.02.2021 Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses and URLs Active
10.02.2021 Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses Active
09.02.2021 Directive to temporarily (but open ended) block IP addresses Active
06.02.2021 Directive to temporarily shut down data network
(statement)
Restored – 07.02.2021
05.02.2021 Directive to block social media services Twitter and Instagram, until further notice (statement) Active
04.02.2021 Directive to temporarily block social media service Facebook (statement) Active
03.02.2021 Directive to restore 3G and 4G data network in eight townships in Rakhine/Chin state (statement) Restored – 03.02.2021
01.02.2021 Forced nationwide network shutdown (statement issued on situation in Myanmar) Restored – 01.02.2021

Read more about Telenor’s work with human rights in Myanmar