Lukashenka’s Operational and Analytical Center (OAC) has been included in the world’s list of Internet’s enemies.
The report has been produced by the international organization ‘Reporters without Borders’.
This year the list of Internet’s enemies represents a list of organizations that impede freedom of speech on the Internet around the world, Radio Svaboda reports.
Belarusian OAC is an organization, the tasks of which go well beyond Internet censorship, spying on journalists and supervision over Internet providers, the report’s authors claim. It is also pointed out that the decree number 60 “On measures for improving the national segment of the Internet network” obliges providers to use the SORM (System for Operative Investigative Activities) for monitoring Internet activity.
In Russia similar functions are carried out by the FSB. Among other enemies of the Internet the authors name organizations in China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries.
This time three organizations got in the list that operate in democratic countries – the National Security Agency of the USA, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Great Britain and the Center for Communications Development (C-DOT) in India.
The report starts with the mentioning of the speech of the charter97.org web-site’s editor-in-chief Natalia Radzina at an OSCE conference in Vienna in February 2013. As she reacted to the conference speech of the deputy chairman of the Lukashenka Operational and Analytical Center Uladzimir Rabavolau, Natalia Radzina stated the following:
“In 2010 Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who is fairly called ‘Europe’s last dictator’, signed a decree on the regulation of the Internet. The task of implementing the decree was commissioned to the newly created institution – the Operational and Analytical Center, a representative of which we can see here today…
According to the decree (it has 2 parts), full registration of users is foreseen, and the information is kept on the services they received. Then all the businesses get transferred to a Belarusian hosting. It is the OAC that is tasked with implementing the decree, and, according to their recommendations, ‘black lists’ are actually introduced. The black lists include oppositional internet resources. They tried to throw dust in the eyes, saying that there was child pornography and such. All the leading internet information sources got affected. We are losing a huge audience due to that, because Belarus’s economy is state-owned, and the black listed web-sites are forbidden to be visited at state-owned institutions.
Today the OAC representative said that a dialogue was needed and it was good that journalists were present. Yes, I can be here today. But had I been in Belarus, I would have been in prison”.
The Lukashenka Operational and Analytical Center was created on 21 April 2008 by the ruler’s decree. Experts point out the organization’s key role in restricting the Internet freedom in Belarus, introducing and implementing respective legislation (among them there is the decree number 60) and the existence of the ‘black list’ of internet information sources, blocked at state institutions in Belarus.
Belarus has been included in the list of Internet’s enemies for three years in a row.