Burma Confiscates Phones, Computers to Silence News

Authorities move to shut down last lines of communication to outside world
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2007 4:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Burmese government is cutting the last lines of communication with the outside world, confiscating satellite phones and computers that reporters and bloggers were using to spread news of the violent repression of pro-democracy protests. Officials even demanded to see permits for satellite phones at a United Nations office. Authorities also searched other offices in a Rangoon hotel and office building for equipment.

They were looking for "systems that allowed information about the demonstrations to get out," said a UN official. The internet, cell phones and landlines have been blocked for over a week. Authorities were reportedly continuing to arrest activists, including computer owners suspected of transmitting protest news and images.