Increased monitoring of internet users in Rangoon

Jan 7, 2008 (DVB), Owners of internet cafés in Rangoon say that authorities have imposed tighter restrictions on internet usage since the September protests and are monitoring users more closely.

Cyber business owners in Rangoon told DVB that the Special Police have instructed them to burn the data of internet usage weekly onto CDs and send it to them.

"The Special Police information department told us to install software to monitor internet usage by our customers and give them the data on CD every week," said an internet café owner.

"Other internet cafés have been asked to do the same thing as well. We think they are aware of the spread of information via the internet after the September events."

He said that owners of internet cafes are being asked to give the Special Police copies of their documentation and to confirm they have licences and registrations for their businesses.

"The licence fee is 500,000 kyat a year with an additional 50,000 kyat monthly, which you have to give to the Myanmar Info-Tech Corporation," the cafe owner said.

Despite the high fees paid for the licences, business owners have complained that the internet service provided by MITC is very poor.

Reporting by Maung Too

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