Thursday, March 01, 2007

Censorship in Belarusian Internet cafes

The Belarusian Council of Ministers adopted on 10 February 2007 a new act on the Regulations on Functioning of the Computer Clubs and Internet Cafes that will impose new censorship rules on all the persons that use the public Internet access points.

According to the new regulations, Internet cafe owners or their authorized agents must keep an electronic registry of the domain names of the sites accessed by users. The electronic log should contain at least a 12-month history of all connections. State Security agents, police or state control inspectors are authorized to review the log in the cases listed by the legislation.

In cases of suspicion of infringement of this law, the Internet cafe management should inform the law enforcement bodies about such events.

The computer clubs and Internet cafes are not allowed to use programs propagating the cult of violence, cruelty and pornography, or disseminate banned information.

The Belarusian Government has very easy ways to regulate the Internet activity within the country, since the only Internet provider is the governmental Beltelecom organization, according to Reporters Without Borders.

See also:
Belarusian government adopts regulations on computer clubs and internet cafes (15.02.2007)

Belorussia tightens control over internet (15.02.2007)

Source: IFLA listserv

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