On February 1, Myanmar’s military took control of the government, arrested political leaders, declared a year-long state of emergency and announced that its Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing would lead the country. What followed was a page pulled straight from the censorship playbook. Citing all-too-familiar national security concerns, riots and rumors, the military has now ordered several temporary internet shutdowns and blocked news websites and key social media platforms, including Facebook and twitter.

Myanmar’s is a coup for the digital age, where military officials can fall back on a new arsenal of instruments to control the information landscape. In a country where more than 22 million people – or around 40 percent of the population – rely on Facebook alone to communicate with loved ones, access daily news, and mobilize politically, the military’s lockdown meant a draconian shutdown of essential communication tools and clearly became a …

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