10 April 2021, Saturday, 22:01
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Leanid Mindlin: “Control over Internet in Belarus is last stage”

Media experts note that the Belarusian authorities earlier made efforts to block Internet.

Authorities plan to impose censorship in the Internet. Belarusian media expert, an author of films about Lukashenka’s dictatorship well-known in the West, such as “A Usual President”, “Fear”, “H-Hour. A Version”, a TV publicist Leanid Mindlin believes that such an intention is the last stage in getting the informational space under control. To his mind, attempts to restrict the informational space are logically started a year or a year and a half before the presidential election. Leanid Mindlin told about that in an interview to ru.Delfi.lt.

The draft law on control over local web resources can come in force in the New Year. Two weeks ago the draft law was published on the web. After the decree “On Measures for Revising Use of the National Segment of the World Wide Web” comes in force, work of Belarusian web resources will be controlled by the government, as well as by a special service – Operative and Analytical department of the presidential administration.

“At this day and age the web is the last stage in control over informational space of the country. During the first stage, in 1996, pressure was exerted on printed mass media and TV channels, primarily the Russian ones, which could be freely accessed at the territory of Belarus and furnished more or less objective information about the situation in Belarus.

The second stage, 2001, when the state tried to restrict Internet during the presidential elections for the first time. Then I the centre of Minsk mobile and Internet communications were blocked in central Minsk.

Then tight control over FM broadcasting radio stations was established. The state controlled them strictly, including music programs. Private TV companies were controlled as well,” Leanid Mindlin said.

According to the expert, an attempt of control over the web is the last stage. Besides, Leanid Mindlin sees a certain consistent pattern in the attempts to control the informational space. They are made a year or a year and a half before the presidential election campaign in Belarus, he says, and the draft decree had been prepared by people foreign to the Internet.

Amid flirting with Europe, which in particular asks to amend the electoral legislation, such initiatives of the Belarusian authorities seem contradicting the declarations about the necessity of a dialogue with Europe. But the expert is convinced that Minsk understands perfectly well that Europe would talk to Belarus in any case.

“Moreover, pressure on the opposition is increasing,” the expert believes. “In almost every weekly program “Panarama” mud is flung at the opposition. They almost discuss on air sexual life of oppositionists”.