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Myanmar Government Attempts Information Control with Internet Block

Myanmar's junta government has cut off Internet access throughout the country in effort to prevent the flow of information on its violent reaction to mass protests. Two democracy and media advocates discuss the move.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    For days, the world has watched events unfold in Myanmar through video and still images sent via the Internet, much of it shot by local citizens and activists — not professional journalists — and ending up on television and in print in the U.S. and elsewhere.

  • One outlet:

    a group of exiled activists based in a Thai border town, who had plugged into an extensive underground network of secret sources inside Myanmar. Using digital technology — e-mails, the Internet, Skype, satellite and mobile phones — they've provided instant eyewitness updates.

  • EXILED BURMESE ACTIVIST:

    Those people are really incredible. They know that they will be arrested or they will be killed if authority find out. Also, I really thank to the high-tech, also many activists, they try to know how to use high-tech, so therefore really now the world can see what happened in Burma.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    In London, a Burmese-born blogger has written about events in his native country. He used to get about 50 visitors a day; recently, he got more than 20,000.

  • KO HTIKE, Blogger:

    Now I'm downloading a photo that's sent from one of my friends who's living here. But yesterday, I missed this photo, and then they weren't able to send it straight to me, so they send it to the other person, one of my friends. And one of my friends, now he's free and he sent it to me.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    And in Norway, an opposition TV station has been broadcasting reports smuggled out of Myanmar.

  • REPORTER:

    We have about 30 or 40 undercover journalists inside Burma. We have our own way of getting footage out of Burma, within the day, for example.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Even today, amid the crackdown on the Internet by the government, opposition TV broadcast footage of yesterday's shooting of a Japanese photojournalist. Kenji Nagai was killed while documenting a protest with a video camera and mobile phone.