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Banned websites in Burma accessible again


New Delhi (Mizzima) – Most of the previously banned websites in Burma including foreign-based news websites can again be directly accessed.

A Burmese Internet user accesses the Mizzima website in Rangoon. Many previously banned sites are now available again. Photo: MizzimaOn Thursday, Mizzima's Burmese and English language websites were accessible for users of the public Internet service provider Yadanabon Teleport. However, the ban continued for Mizzima websites on the state-run ISP, Myanmar Post and Telegraph.  

The websites of the Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma and the Thailand-based Irrawaddy can be visited directly through the Internet providers MPT and Yadanabon Teleport.

The bans on websites for RFA, BBC and VOA, which also have Burmese language sections, were lifted. Blogger, YouTube, Hotmail and Yahoo, which were blocked, are now accessible. Foreign news websites such as The Guardian, Bangkok Post, Reuters and CNN can now be accessed.

Although many news and other websites have been banned since the 2007 army crackdown on demonstrations, many Internet users in Burma used proxy servers to access the sites.

“They may want to know how many people access these websites when they are accessible. Moreover, here [in Burma], in every case, when they open and close them [they make changes and put them back into their original condition],” said a Rangoon-based editor.

The speed of the Internet has decreased and is only 10 kbps in some locations.

“I tried to log in to Gtalk 30 minutes ago, but I can still not get in,” an Internet café owner in South Okkalapa Township said.

The highest Internet speed in Burma is just 512 kbps. Burma has plans to increase the speed up to 1 mbps.

Burma now has more than 400,000 Internet users and 802 registered Public Access Centres (PACs), according to statistics issued by Myanmar Info Tech in February 2011.

The government imposes restrictions when granting a PAC license that bans visiting foreign-based news and media websites. PACs are responsible for controlling leaks of news and information that could undermine state security. It is not clear whether any of those rules and regulations have been revoked or changed.
Last Updated ( Friday, 16 September 2011 22:48 )  

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