The executive leadership of UNI Global Union’s Information, Communications, Technology, and Services (ICTS) sector issued a statement today calling on telecommunications companies in Myanmar to “resist and appeal” the military junta’s orders to restrict information and collect data on pro-democracy activists.
The ICTS presidium called on the three multinational telecoms companies—Telenor (Norway), KDDI (Japan) and Ooredoo (Qatar)—to:
- Publicly speak out against efforts to restrict and block access to communications.
- Take all reasonable steps to protect individual user data.
- Develop action plans with civil society organizations, in the case that the human rights situation deteriorates.
- Not to take retaliatory action against workers who participate in strikes against the military regime, or who resist illegitimate orders from authorities that violate human rights.
Telenor has issued a statement opposed to the military government’s proposed cyber-security law. The proposed law which would have required telecommunications companies to store data on individuals for three years, give wide-ranging investigative powers to the military government, allow authorities to block online content. The draconian legislation is apparently stalled.
“The people of Myanmar organizing for democracy are using these telecoms companies’ services, and the providers have a unique, vital role in defending human rights,” said Andy Kerr, President of UNI ICTS and Deputy General Secretary of CWU-UK. “The safety of those resisting the military government depends on these companies upholding human rights, as do the hopes of a democratic government for millions more.”
The UNI ICTS Presidium is the global leadership of the organization comprising its regional presidents from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Americas, as well as its global president. You can read its full statement here.