ONI: Myanmar/Burma Internet Closure

The OpenNet Initiative released a report documenting the Internet shutdown in Myanmar/Burma. Similar to the shutdown in Nepal after the King assumed power in a coup in 2005. Both of the ISPs cut their Internet access from September 29 to October 4 with the exception of a few brief periods of access. Also, the shutdown was gradual:

ONI also looked for signs of how the infrastructure was turned off during these outages. The Burmese Autonomous System (AS), which, like any other AS, is composed of several hierarchies of routers and provides the Internet infrastructure in-country. A switch off could therefore be conducted at the top by shutting off the border router(s), or a bottom up approach could be followed by first shutting down routers located a few hops deeper inside the AS.

A high-level traffic analysis of the logs of NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers indicates that the border routers corresponding to the two ISPs were not turned off suddenly. Rather, our analysis indicates that this was a gradual process: traffic fell to 14 percent of the previous week’s average on September 28, going down to 7 percent of the average on September 29 and zero traffic on September 30. This matches with the BGP data coming from AS 9988 and AS 18399 belonging to MPT and BaganNet respectively.

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