Belarus to toughen control over Internet

Dec 30, 2009 By YURAS KARMANAU , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state.

"We will identify any person who disseminates lies and dirt, and will make them answer strictly to the law," President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday.

He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts and special services.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since 1994, weeding out opposition and dissidents. All television channels and most print have become state-controlled, and many of the independent newspapers ordered closed have taken refuge in cyberspace.

Last June, Belarus adopted a media bill that allowed the government to close Web sites without warning and imprison journalists for reproducing foreign media reports.

Lukashenko won a third term in 2006 in an election that Western governments deemed fraudulent.

Explore further: Google teams up with European media to boost online journalism

0 shares

Related Stories

Globe Talk: The not-so-neutral Internet

May 13, 2006

Pornography and gambling may be flourishing online, but despite making it easier for such evils to rake in big bucks, few would argue that the Internet is a great tool. In fact, it may be difficult to find someone who has ...

Attempted Iran media clampdown meets Internet age

Jun 17, 2009

(AP) -- Iran clamped down Tuesday on independent media in an attempt to control images of election protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway - showing how difficult it is to shut off the flow of ...

Recommended for you

Facebook rolls out video calls on Messenger

14 hours ago

Facebook on Monday began rolling out video calling on its Messenger mobile application, enabling face-to-face conversations among users of the app around the world.

Tinder, Vice honored in online Webby awards

17 hours ago

The online dating app Tinder was this year's "breakout" Internet service while bad-boy news website Vice Media got multiple honors in the "Webby" awards announced Monday.

'Map spam' puts Google in awkward place

Apr 24, 2015

Google was re-evaluating its user-edited online map system Friday after the latest embarrassing incident—an image of an Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

croghan26
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
"Belarus' authoritarian leader" - er ..Canada's authoritarian leader has shut down several websites he has deemed subversive. In the process he also eliminated about 50 other sites that had nothing to do with those that irked him.

The moved could not be debated in Parliament as he has prorogued Parliament until March being unable to cope with several scandles the oppostion insists on bringing up.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.