Rangoon – The Burmese military junta plans to block flow of information by controlling the internet during the ensuing referendum on May 10, a source in the government said.
The government is likely to cut-off internet connection from the server sector-wise. The source added.
An official from the Myanmar Communication Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Mizzima that the government is likely to divide internet users into three categories – Public Access Centers, Commercial usages, and the Hotel and Tourism sector – and control and filter accordingly.
They will first block flow of information from 'Public Access Centre' (PAC) as soon as government information, facts and photographs are leaked from these sources. However, commercial and official usages are likely to remain untouched.
But if government information continues to leak, it is likely that the commercial sector will also be terminated in the second phase.
"In this way, they can easily find out from which source, the information is being leaked. Moreover, they can avoid criticism from the international community for the news blackout by disconnecting the internet," an observer in Rangoon, who monitors the junta's internet control, said.
He added that the government is likely to control the internet in two ways - a total cut off and reducing the bandwidth - to slow down flow of information.
In the meantime, internet users in Rangoon and other metro cities complained internet speed has slowed down drastically.
During September's saffron revolution, internet based commercial activities including tourism incurred heavy losses in terms of millions of US dollars when the government blocked the internet, which is the main source of information outflow from Burma to the outside world.