Meet the Censored: Myanmar Writer Zaw Moe Shinn

This is an important article.

Matt Taibbi

Not long ago, TK was contacted by a young writer from the beleaguered country of Myanmar, named Zaw Moe Shinn. Zaw, who is well known in his country for translating English books into Burmese, had just called a mutual acquaintance from the capital city of Naypyitaw, where there were over 10,000 protesters on the streets at the time.

The country had just gone through a military coup, and Zaw wanted to share the unique story of Internet censorship that flowed from that event. We arranged to interview him for “Meet the Censored.”

Zaw’s is a little different from the other tales in this space, as it primarily involves a state authority, not oligopolistic tech firms. But it’s horrifying all the same, and holds some potent warnings for those who haven’t thought through the worst-case scenarios for Internet crackdowns.

In order to understand the context of our interview with the young writer and activist, some background is required.

On February 1st, military authorities in Myanmar overthrew the civilian government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The army, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, detained Suu Kyi on the grounds that her election was “marred by fraud,” and declared a one-year state of emergency.


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