2009 13/03

свобода словаAccording to www.lenta.ru, the Reporters without Borders international organization has issued an annual report on the freedom of Internet, calling Belarus one of the governments which ‘still alternate between censorship and harassment of Internet users’, albeit refraining from placing it on the list of top Internet enemies.

‘The government  said  on  2  June  2008  that  it could resort to Chinese expertise to block access to foreign websites likely to have a “bad influence”  in Belarus. There is no evidence that such a filtering system has been put in place for the time being, but the authorities nevertheless

do censor  some opposition and news  websites.  The  website  of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty came under some of the most serious  cyber-attacks  since  its founding between 26 April and 5 May 2008. The site promotes “citizen journalism” allowing users to post their own photos, film and articles. Head of the website’s Belarus service, Alexander Lukashuk, said the attack was the result of its live coverage from Minsk of the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, one of the major annual demonstrations. Human rights websites Charter 97 and Bieloruskii partisan have also been the target of similar attacks of unknown origin. From 10 February 2007, a decree adopted by the Council of Ministers has made Internet surveillance legal, forcing owners of cybercafés and computer clubs to denounce to police Internet users who go on to “sensitive”  sites.  It also  forces  them  to register the browsing history on their computers  over  the  previous  12 months, and to keep the information available for the security forces and the KGB. Further, President  Alexander  Lukashenko signed a new press law at the beginning of August that obliges media to comply with a new registration procedure. It will allow stricter state control of online publications and make it easier for the authorities to close media down’, says the Report.

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One thought on “Reporters without Borders says Belarus still alternates between censorship and harassment of Internet users”

  1. This is great! Now I want to see your ways for us readers to become more involved! Expect an email later today.

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