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14 Feb 2021

Dominic Oo, Asia Times

Myanmar: Draft cybersecurity law faces backlash from concerned groups, including strong statement from local organization, MCF

"Cybersecurity bill to plunge Myanmar into darkness" 14 February 2021

Myanmar’s new junta government faces a firm and spirited backlash against draft cybersecurity legislation, with some investors suggesting they may pull out of the country if the punitive law is adopted.

Around 160 civil society organizations have publicly condemned the proposed law, with many including the Myanmar Computer Federation saying they would refuse to accept it as a legitimate law.

…the Myanmar Computer Federation, the organization representing all-computer related associations led by tech-entrepreneur Min Zeyar Hlaing, released a statement “strongly objecting” to the bill.

The fact that MCF, a group representing Myanmar’s IT-related associations, is publicly opposing it would make it politically difficult for the military to quickly implement the law.

The bill could stop all businesses, including SMEs and start-ups, that rely on and utilizing IT-based services, the group said.

Public consultation must be made, opinions gathered from related personnel from the sector, civil organizations and international bills must be referenced, the statement continued.

“[The bill] should only be implemented at the union parliament elected by the people… we observe that now is not a good situation to pass this bill,” the MCF said.

View MCF's full statement in Burmese here.