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Myanmar: Activists use Viber app to advocate & campaign, but are exposed to govt. snooping

Author: Myanmar Now, Published on:

"Viber leads the apps for Myanmar activists, but is it safe to share?", 10 Aug 2015

Viber...the smartphone messaging application is revolutionising the way activists and aid workers communicate, advocate and campaign in Myanmar, a country that for decades kept a tight lid on communications and has punitive laws that could be used to stifle dissent...[C]onsidering Myanmar’s poor information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and that no commercial telecoms operators existed until a year ago, Viber’s ubiquity in Myanmar is undeniable...A Viber account can be set up with a phone number, unlike Facebook where an e-mail address is needed...Viber also works remarkably well in low-bandwidth environments like Myanmar...ICT experts, however, warn that activists...are at risk from laws that impose harsh penalties on those deemed to undermine state security. Most messaging apps are also not secure, exposing users to snooping from governments and attacks from hackers...  

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