Lukashenka in fact confirmed his plans on Internet regulation in Belarus at a press conference on December 30.
“We will react to the Internet,” he said. According to Lukashenka, the objective of the decree, which is being worked out now, is elimination of anonymity of Belarusian Internet-users. “Access won’t be forbidden, but there will be responsibility,” the Belarusian dictator said.
“Access won’t be forbidden, but there will be responsibility. Like in America,” he explained. “We will try to reach their standards but we will do so without prohibiting anything but strictly regulating and making people answerable,” he said.
“We will make so that a person spreading the truth, dirt, and other things won’t be anonymous, people must answer if they violate the law,” Lukashenka added.
We remind that the draft decree on Measures for Revising Use of the National Segment of the World Wide Web appeared on the Internet on December 14. The draft provides for significant restriction of activity of news websites. The draft decree tightens control of the authorities over Internet users and imposes a number of new conditions for work of the Belarusian Internet segment.
The scandalous document concerns blocking websites on a decision of governmental bodies, identification of Internet users, bringing persons spreading information on the Internet to responsibility and state registration of the Internet media.
According to the initial draft decree, Belarusian Internet resources must be hosted in Belarus, moreover, Belarusians will have to show a provider their IDs to be able to use even a dial-up connection.
Dictator vs Internet: who will win?
The Belarusian authorities want to declare war against the Internet. Are we ready to defend ourselves?
Dear readers! Events in our country develop in such a way that the Belarusian Internet as a place of free speech and independent information may cease to exist in the nearest time.
You may face a situation when the website charter97.org and other news resources may be unavailable in the nearest future. With the help of the decree the dictator wants to impose total censorship on the Belarusian Internet segment. Dozens of independent newspapers, TV channels and programmes have been closed in Belarus in the last 15 years causing degradation of public information space. Even Lukashenka has recently admitted: “There’s nothing to watch on Belarusian TV, nobody listens to radio”.
Most independent journalists moved to the Internet. Due to an opportunity of feedback, the ByNet has become a center of hot discussions of acute problems, the authorities often close eyes to. Uncensored Belarusian Internet is the only means of public control in the country. The authorities are working out the China’s variant for us. Uncomfortable websites will be blocked, in fact every Internet user will be under control, distributors of “harmful” information will face criminal and administrative persecution.
We are addressing you, dear friends! If our and other independent websites are blocked by the authorities, you must know: the dictator has declared war against the Internet and the sinister decree has come into force.
Don’t be slow!
Our Belarusian readers, on that day at 6 p.m. go to October square of Minsk with demands of free Internet. Spread this information among your friends.
Dear Belarusians in emigration and Belarus’s foreign friends! Demand your governments to impose the harshest economic and political sanctions on the regime of Lukashenka!
Only our decisive actions can help defend our freedom. You should know – there are a lot of us. The Belarusian Internet segment has more than 3 million users.
No to Interment blockade! For freedom yours and ours!