The plot thickens in the much-criticized planned sale of Telenor’s Myanmar branch to the Lebanese conglomerate M1 Group.
The Norwegian phone network operator now claims that the military junta of Myanmar demanded it to install equipment to intercept communications on the network they operate in the country, Yahoo! Finance writes. According to the company this is a leading factor for the sale that was heavily criticized at the time of its announcement.
“Telenor has not installed such equipment and we will not do so voluntarily. Operating such equipment in this situation would constitute a breach of our values and standards as a company,” a spokesman for the firm said in a statement, noting that complying would contravene Norwegian and international sanctions.
Telenor has previously received a lot of criticism of the sale from civil society groups claiming that Telenor would endanger the Myanmar peoples access to communicate without being surveyed by the Junta. This led critical voices to say that that Telenor didn’t consider how the sale would be a step back for human rights in the country.