Myanmar will block phone access for those who miss SIM registration deadline
In February, before the pandemic was declared, the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications Department set a deadline of April 30 for citizens to register their mobile phone SIMs, a move the PTD said was necessary to enhance the security of electronic transactions and cut down crime.
The PTD issued an official reminder on April 16, and confirmed on April 29 that other than websites and applications for registration operators would be required to block calls and data for unregistered users on the 30th; users are also now limited to two SIMs per operator. The move is expected to cut off millions of citizens who lack the necessary ID cards and who, with movement restricted in many parts of the country, lack the ability to get to branded shops for help. Local civil rights groups noted that those being blocked will likely include the poorest and most marginalised, who are already suffering the most from the pandemic.
The groups also encouraged the government to restore internet access. In nine townships, where it was cut off during conflict with ethnic armed groups in 2019, and restore access to ethnic media websites that it has recently banned.
Writer: Thompson Chau
Publication: MM Times