Authoritarian Belarus Government Further Tightens Access to Internet

By

The former Soviet republic of Belarus is further trying to repress its citizens by tightening control over access to Internet. Yahoo! New reports that the authoritarian government of Belarus has passed a new law that requires service providers to monitor users and report them to authorities if they visit blacklisted websites.

Associated Press reporter Yuras Karmanau wrote that media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders has condemned the new law, saying, “the government's escalating control of the Internet adds new weapons of repression.”

According to this report, the country’s authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko has been in office since 1994. Since taking control, media reports indicate that he has been consistently suppressing the opposition and cracking down on independent media. In fact, some in Western rights group have labeled the Belarus president as "Europe's last dictator,” wrote Karmanau.

As per the Yahoo! News report, the new Belarusian law now bans the country’s businessmen from utilizing external Internet resources, such as online stores registered in foreign countries. The new legal revisions now requires “Internet service providers to monitor users and report them to authorities if they visit opposition websites blacklisted by the government,” wrote Karmanau.

The Yahoo! News report indicates that international observers have been very critical of president Lukashenko’s re-election to office in December 2010, which was fraudulent. As a result, there have been massive anti-government protests in the country, which have been viciously suppressed by the police. About 700 people were arrested and some of them are still in jail, including presidential candidates Andrei Sannikov and Nikolai Statkevich, wrote Karmanau.

In a statement sent to the press, Reporters Without Borders said, "This reinforcement of censorship is a survival reflex on the part of a government weakened by the unrest that followed president Lukashenko's disputed re-election in December 2010."

In its annual report on "Enemies of the Internet," Reporters Without Borders have listed Belarus as a country under surveillance. It was ranked 154th out of 178 countries in the 2010 press freedom index, wrote Karmanau.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Shabodi Accelerates Adoption of Network-Aware Applications with CAMARA API Enterprise Reference Implementation

By: Special Guest    2/16/2024

Shabodi, an Application Enablement Platform (AEP) provider unleashing advanced network capabilities in LTE, 5G, 6G, and Wi-Fi 6, announced they have l…

Read More

How Much Does Endpoint Protection Cost? Comparing 3 Popular Solutions

By: Contributing Writer    2/2/2024

Endpoint protection, also known as endpoint security, is a cybersecurity approach focused on defending computers, mobile devices, servers, and other e…

Read More

What Is Databricks? Simplifying Your Data Transformation

By: Contributing Writer    2/2/2024

Databricks is an innovative data analytics platform designed to simplify the process of building big data and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. …

Read More

What Is Blue/Green deployment?

By: Contributing Writer    1/17/2024

Blue/green deployment is a software release management strategy that aims to reduce downtime and risk by running two identical production environments…

Read More

The Threat of Lateral Movement and 5 Ways to Prevent It

By: Contributing Writer    1/17/2024

Lateral movement is a term used in cybersecurity to describe the techniques that cyber attackers use to progressively move through a network in search…

Read More