For more than three years (1,095+ days), the government of Myanmar has blocked specific online services, resulting in a loss of almost USD $232 million, according to the Pulse NetLoss Calculator (Figure 1).
This is currently the longest service-blocking shutdown that Pulse is tracking. We started tracking the blocking on 2 February 2021, the day after a coup d’etat by the Myanmar military. Sadly, this blocking continues to this day.
Using measurements from the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), we can see that Wikipedia remains completely blocked, and services such as X/Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all blocked to various degrees. In contrast, YouTube remains accessible!
OONI shows the anomalies associated with service blocking in this Facebook Messenger test:
And in this similar chart for the WhatsApp test:
Additional measurements from OONI show continued blocking of some news sites and those around political criticism.
You can see from the green on these charts that some communication is getting through (except to Wikipedia). On our page about this ongoing shutdown, we note that OONI’s research found this was most likely due to incomplete blocking of all the appropriate IP addresses.
As indicated in the Pulse Country Report for Myanmar, the Internet resilience score is low – and our partners at Freedom House rank Myanmar as “Not Free” (Figure 5).
The Internet Society firmly believes that shutdowns and service blocking harm societies, economies, and the global Internet infrastructure. By our calculations, the actions of the Myanmar government have resulted in a loss of 660 jobs and USD $232,000,000 in GDP – money that could have gone to building their online economy and improving the lives of the people there. We sincerely hope this will change and that the government will #KeepItOn.