Thursday, May 28, 2009

Internet users watched in northern Burma

Written by KNG

The Burmese military junta’s surveillance of internet cafés has given cold feet to internet users in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in Northern Burma, a source said.

A local internet user said the secret police in plainclothes drop into internet cafés and look around. They stand or sit beside internet users to monitor which website they are surfing.

“I saw a police woman using the internet sitting beside me and she was checking what I was surfing all the time. Initially, I didn’t know that she was a policewoman but later I understood when I saw her police identity card beside her chair,” an internet user told KNG.

She added that in internet cafés, not many users surf banned websites but they view other sites also. If the police keep checking every time, it disturbs them.

There are less than 10 internet cafes in Myitkyina downtown and the charges for surfing are 1,000 kyats equivalent to about US $1 for an hour. Not many internet cafés are safe to use in town, she added.

This year in February, the police detained two Kachin local internet users from Yuzana quarter for surfing websites banned by the ruling military junta, said a resident.

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