February 24, Asia Meetup

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Asia Meetups

Date: February 24th, Wednesday

Time: Delhi 13:30 (UTC+5:30) / Taipei-Kuala Lumpur 16:00 (UTC+8) / Tokyo 17:00 (UTC+9) / NYC 3am (EST)

Who: Facilitated by Lulu Keng

Where: The Meetjitsi link will be shared in the following rooms on the IFF Mattermost one or two hours before the start of the meeting: Southeast Asia, Central Asia and East Asia.

Agenda: TBA


Community Updates

  • 24 attendees

Topic Sharing : What happen in Myanmar and what we can do

  • Coupruary = Coup + February
  • Before the election, there was an internet shutdown in MM.
  • It had some incidents showing that the military was preparing this.
  • By the end of Jan., there are more narratives. But most analysis said the possibility of the military doing this is low due to economic concern.
  • Past two weeks, police and military have started to visit people's houses and ask who joined the movements.
  • People voluntarily do the night watch.


Q: Military release people from jail, what kind of people they release or why they do this?

  • There indeed are many assumptions. According to past experiences, elder people worry about this a lot. Many people also worry that the military will use these prisoners to cause chaos or violence. Another assumption is the military is cleaning more rooms to arrest more people.

Q: What digital tech is used? and how

  • Depend the generation.
    • There are no centralized comm channels, most people mainly are organizing on facebook. but now facebook and twitter and signal are blocked
    • people are using vpn
    • general strike committee use videoconference, other people such as some young people use facebook.

Q: Does the police arrest people who are not main figures of the movement?

  • In yangon, they havent really cracked down, there had been a lot of crackdown in other cities and that involves non main figures.

Q: The movement is changing and fluid, what do people feel about some of the critical issues in the next few weeks?

  • aside from the general strike there is also political parties ie people who were elected in the previous election, they have 17 members now, they are trying to act like a legitimate government. A lot of people are standing with them.
  • Hard to know what to expect from the shadow government
  • CRPH is from 2008 constitution, formed by former dictatorship. Parties want 2008 constitution gone.
  • people hope international intervention, Maybe people should accept that MM is not in the situation of January or go back to that situation anymore.
  • Some ethnice parties feel themselves not included.
  • Two weeks ago the military issued an arrest warrant on union people, so they are on the run.

Q: Is there anything that international community can do to help?

  • Help us pressure the military to stop the internet shutdown.
  • Although it is not very hopeful and not sure how intl-communities can help

Q: When internet shutdown happen, businesses stop, so are there any pressure from the commercial sector?

  • Not familiar with the views of the business people
  • all banks are closed. everyone, everything is shutdown basically.
  • not a lot of pushback from the tech community or business people
  • four telcos: PT is nationally owned. Telenor is the only telco publishing a lot of directives from the gov that orders internet shutdown. Telenor was also pressured to stop publishing these directives.
  • military tries to pass cybersecurity law. civil society and startup community pushed back.
  • how do we make sure it is less overwhelming for the people providing support?

Q: any needs as a safety trainer?

  • there are already a lot of resources out there, for example how to use tor, signal, veracrypt
  • People need straightforward guides, like, what should I do when I'm relocating?
  • We are seeing there are database like this

Q: Physical security, are you able to communicate safety tips?

  • Here is a database of protest tips, circumvention tools, etc. it's updated.

Q: Anyone doing monitoring of cyberattacks from the mil?

  • research coming out from OTF last year, the researcher discovered censorship techniques used by the gov.
  • also covers surveillance
  • how the police were trained.
  • regarding Cellebrite
  • we havent seen people's account being hacked.
  • It's silent for the past two weeks and I hope they're not planning something bad.

Q: Is there an understanding of when the security bill will pass?

  • their plan is to announce the cybersecurity bill
  • pushback from all sector so they stopped.
  • they amended the privacy and electronic transaction law, which gives extra surveillance power.
  • OTF report

Q: There was a release of financial data of the mil and its related businesses

  • Dont have the bandwith to take a look at it
  • more research is needed.
  • Go to Justice for Myanmar for more info.
  • Ddosecrets Myanmar Financials
  • It is hard to download anything in MM now, but welcome to downland it and report back what is going on.

Q: How do people spread message out?

  • Hong Kong and Thialand have seen protests
  • there is a pattern of international community help
  • what can we learn from these patterns? what can we do more?

Q: What VPNs dont work anymore?

  • expressvpn and psiphon are still working
  • people cant go to most vpn websites anymore
  • rumors going on that mil recording IP addresses visiting vpn websites.
  • rumors on installation of Chinese firewall

All of this is depressing and uncertain, people are afraid of their own lives. Amazing thing is gen z coming together and creative ways. We never really had protection from the government. This enabled us to roll up our own sleeves. This is the positive thing coming out. People were also regrettign for their stance on them not supporting the Rohingya people.

RECAP: Actions

  1. Campaign around internet shutdowns: pressure military to stop internet shutdowns, and telcos to push back
  2. Cybersecurity law as an opportunity to continue to push back against military encroachment
  3. Safety needs: time and capacity to better assess risks and solutions of individals and organisations in the movement
  4. Need folks to download and look into the data dump