From Sudan to Syria, Jordan to Jaipur, the trend towards digital authoritarianism is deepening
- How to shut down the internet – and how to fight back
- When shutdowns spill over borders
On 1 February 2021, reporter Ko Zin Lin Htet received a panicked phone call from a source in the Burmese capital, Yangon. The caller said the military had seized power and was arresting opposition politicians, then hung up. Ko Zin Lin Htet remembered what he did next: “I checked my phone and my internet connection. There was nothing there.”
He got on his motorbike and drove to the parliament, where he saw military personnel, not police, guarding the buildings. At that moment, Ko Zin Lin Htet realised there had been a coup – and that by cutting internet access, the new junta had thrown the country back into the pre-internet era.