20 June 2019, Thursday, 17:32
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Decree on Internet limitations prepared in Belarus (Text of the document)

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It is planned that the Council of Ministers together with special services and providers is to control work of web-sites.

“Nasha Niva” newspaper received a draft decree “On measures for revising use of the national segment of the World Wide Web”.

Under this document, control over web-sites in Belarus is to be carried out in accordance with to the procedure prescribed by the Council of Ministers on approval of the special service, the Operational and Analytics Centre of the Presidential Administration (OAC).

Under the draft decree, the OAC is to control internet providers of the country. “Telecommunications operators that have a right to access the international telecommunications networks, and accredited Internet services providers” are to be approved by the OAC “under the agreement with the president of the Republic of Belarus”.

Activities of a provider can be discontinued by a decree of the Council of Ministers. The OAC’s capacities also include ban on access to information which is illegal under the Belarusian law. Registration of domain names .by is to be controlled by the OAC as well.

The same agency is also to handle enforcement of the national legislation by the companies which provide Internet services.

The draft decree also includes a plan of actions for the next year, which are to be implemented by the Council of Ministers and the OAC with the aim to revise work of the national segment of the Web. Thus, under this draft document, within three months after the decree publication the Council of Ministers is to ensure regulatory actions for the work of informational resources of the Belarusian segment of the web, and to about owners of informational resources.

Clause 1.5 of the decree causes concern. It reads: “Upon the request of a user, providers of Internet services effect services limiting access to information which is aimed at extremist activities” and so on.

Within one year after the decree’s coming in force, it is planned to write a draft law on the national segment of the Internet and offer it for consideration of the Belarusian president.

The Operational and Analytical Centre was created in 2008.

We offer to your attention some extracts from the draft document.

1. Registration of resources of the national segment of the World Wide Web is to be carried out in accordance with to the procedure prescribed by the Council of Ministers on approval of the Operational and Analytics Centre under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Administration (OAC).

Information about the registered resources of the national segment of the Web is to be conveyed to the OAC in a procedure and in the amount prescribed by this Centre.

• The national segment of the Word Wide Web means of informational networks, systems, resources, including telecommunications networks and complexes of software and hardware facilities connected to the network limited to the territory and (or) domain area of the Republic of Belarus.

1.2. Operators and other legal entities and private entrepreneurs that provide Internet services (Internet providers) must identify * Internet users** to whom their services are rendered.

Information about identification of Internet users is to be stored by Internet providers for at least one year and to be submitted upon request of state bodies which carry out investigative activities, prosecution agencies, preliminary investigation agencies, courts;

1.4. When Internet providers, Internet users violate requests of this decree, or other legal acts in the sphere of use of the national segment of the Web, rendering services with the use of this network can be suspended or discontinued in a procedure prescribe by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Suspension of rendering Internet services is executed after demand of competent government bodies, as well as state agencies which carry out investigative activities, prosecution agencies, preliminary investigation agencies, courts where there are sufficient grounds to believe that continuation of access to these services would contribute to commission of an offence.

2. The Council of Ministers of Belarus:

2.1. Within three months is:

2.1.1. To define:

The sphere of duties of organs of state administration subject to the Government of the Republic of Belarus, in the sphere of World Wide Web use;

The list of services rendered with the use of the national segment of the Web, and responsibility of Internet providers for keeping records of them;

The procedure of conveying information necessary for identification of Internet users and services provided to them, to state agencies which carry out investigative activities, prosecution agencies, preliminary investigation agencies, courts;

The procedure of suspension or termination of rendering services in the national segment of the Web;

2.2. Within six months:

A draft Concept on development of the national segment of the Web is to be created and offered for approval of the President of Belarus;

The procedure of state registration of mass media disseminated by means of Internet, and the procedure of their production is to be determined;

The procedure f Internet users’ identification in places of collective use of the Internet, including Internet-café clients, home networks users is to be defined;

5.

Within a year state agencies concerned are to prepare and offer for consideration of the head of state offers for enacting into law administrative, criminal and other responsibility for law violations in the sphere of Internet use.