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[liberationtech] Satellite phones for Rohingya in Burma

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Sun Mar 17 12:29:51 PDT 2013


Dear Heather,

ttscanada:
> Hi all,
> 
> For those that aren't aware, 800,000 Rohingya people in Burma are being
> cut off from communication as the military and government try to drive
> them out of the country. Over 100,000 are being starved to death in
> concentration camps, the rest are driven into boats which neighbouring
> countries are refusing to allow to land. There have been two large scale
> massacres as well, one in June, one in October. Our contacts have been
> saying for weeks there is another massacre planned for the end of March,
> but even if there weren't, they are living in houses made of straw and
> plastic bags with no food or medical aid and the rains are coming. This
> is a full scale genocide supported by the current Burma/Myanmar
> government. Media and aid groups are blocked and the people are jailed
> just for having a TV, they have no phones.
> 

I'm well aware and having just been in Burma, I'm sad to say that most
people in the world are unaware; those in Burma that know seem afraid to
speak out.

> More information, check out over 100 pages of links here
> http://topsy.com/s/georgiebc+Rohingya?window=a the #Rohingya tag on
> Twitter or google.
> 
> We have a way to hopefully get some journalists in to document war
> crimes. We need satellite phones for the Rohingya people as well, as
> many as possible, donated would be great. If anyone has any ideas for a
> good phone source it would be appreciated.

Please be very careful - the communications systems in Burma are all
highly monitored and heavily controlled. During my recent trip to Burma,
I was part of a team that worked on a report about the communications
systems in county. Please feel free to pass it on to people:

 http://www.opentechfund.org/article/access-and-openness-myanmar-2012

Satellite phones are extremely privacy invasive (interception, location
tracking, etc) and short of the Cryptophone Satellite phone (
http://www.cryptophone.de/en/products/satellite/ ) used in a very
specific way, I wouldn't even touch one of those devices if I thought
that the Burmese military was possibly targeting me.

All the best,
Jacob




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