Earlier this week I was asked to speak at the Myanmar Digital Rights Forum.
While many countries worried about connecting people for about a decade after deregulation, and only then started debating about the “softer” issues of the Internet, Myanmar is engaging in this debate now. What kind of Internet should people of Myanmar connect to? How can Myanmarese ensure their basic human writes in their digital lives? How to make the Internet experience safe? How to balance the governments need to identify Internet users/activity vs citizens rights to privacy online? These are not easy things for a country to negotiate but Myanmar has made a start – government and civil society was in the room and engaging.
It’s not surprising this conversation is being led by the pioneers of the digital rights movement in Myanmar, Ko Nay Phon Latt, Ma Htaike Htaike Aung, the MIDO team. Some of them were imprisoned for their online activity, in the days prior to Myanmar moving towards democratic governance. MIDO was ably supported and joined by the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business. Phandeeyar and others. I hope the specific inputs on existing legislation that was made at the end of the 2-day event will yield a positive results and enable the exercise of human rights by Myanmar’s netizens..