22 January 2018, Monday, 9:19

Andrei Abozau: Europe must control the manufacturers of surveillance software

Very simple equipment is often used for spying on Belarusians, which makes difficult the control over the shipments of the surveillance means themselves, the expert believes.

“If it was possible to create some control mechanism over it, this would be the optimal variant. But, unfortunately, the equipment, used for these purposes, is common IT network equipment, it is not specialized. And later some equipment in complex makes it into a surveillance instrument”, - Andrei Abozau told in an interview to the charter97.org web-site. He is one of the creators of the CartoonClub project who had to escape Belarus because of being prosecuted for satirical cartoons about Lukashenka.

According to the expert, the European union should think of a control mechanism over the shipments of such equipment to Belarus:

“Lukashenka’s administration has such instruments in the Operational and Analytical Center. It is fairly problematic to restrict the shipments of such equipment, a more efficient way should be looked for. The initiative of the Member of the European Parliament Leonidas Donskis about the introduction of a ban on selling information technologies to Belarus is a correct initiative. But the control mechism needs to be thoroughly thought through”.

It would be more efficient to control the manufacturers of software for surveillance complexes for the internet use, Andrei Abozau considers:

“A supplier of equipment manufactures products, for example, for some corporation to be able to control its workers. This equipment is taken and used for the control over the citizens of the country. I think, these are the manufacturers of software for such complexes who should be controlled first of all. They are much easier to control, because most often the equipment used is very simple and complexes are simply assembles from it. Simply banning the shipments of such equipment to Belarus will hurt business and the equipment will still be imported through Russia”.