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Internet-censorship Russian style

Russian State Duma plans to pass a new law limiting Internet access…

In September of last year British law enforcers have published a research study proving that limited Internet access and censorship of all communication sources worldwide reached unbelievably high level. Another research study “Silenced” was led by Internet-experts and law enforcement organizations on behalf of Pravacy International and GreenNet Educational Trust in more than 50 countries around the globe.

According to the authors of the research study, the US and Great Britain were the first two countries that most actively lobbied mass media regulations including the Net.

Western states promote such rapid spread of censorship in developing countries, since the latter receive all the needed technologies and equipment from the West to enable thorough control of telecommunications. According to the experts, if it wasn't for the West, those developing countries would not have been able to implement censorship so easily and efficiently.

Some of the positive aspects of censorship are as follows: many countries are currently in the process of adopting new laws of confidentiality, new technologies are being developed that suppose to protect one's privacy.

Internet-regulation Asian style

Burma is number one in terms of depriving people of Internet-freedom in Asian region, surpassing even such countries as China and Vietnam, where Internet is fully controlled by the government. Burmese authorities prohibited Internet users to publish any materials of political content, which could in any way “do harm to the government.” Burmese authorities made it clear that they do not wish to see this new technology to cause major riots in the country. Therefore, they are willing to destroy it fully. In China on the contrary, dissidents still find ways for their purposes. For now at least…

A couple of years ago, China adopted a new law concerning telecommunications aimed mainly at regulating Internet-business. The law limits intake of foreign capitals into Chinese Internet-Companies as well monitors all the information placed on those sites. Legally, companies have to store all the Internet data for 60 days and be able to provide that data upon request of law enforcement.

According to a human rights organization Amnesty International, amount of Chinese citizens involved in expressing their alternative opinion on-line keeps rising. In comparison to last year, a number of Internet-victims has increased by 60%, reports The Inquirer. Aside from those people who have been imprisoned for spreading radical ideological views, those who informed the entire country of the SARS epidemic were also among the imprisoned. Amnesty International also criticizes such American companies as Microsoft, Cisco and Sun for providing China with technologies to enable total Internet censorship.

Internet-censorship Russian style

Rumor has it that in a not so distant future Russians will have to have special permission from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to access the Net. Russian authorities have been preoccupied with the Internet issue for quite some time now. Special services for instances claim that the Net often contributes to divulging information of national importance. Police also complains at the rising number of crimes in the technological field; politicians don't like wandering megabytes with discrediting information.

The new bill mainly aims at protecting Internet users from pornography, spam and intellectual piracy. It is also planned, for instance to deny access to anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime. However, it is still unclear how those individuals will be denied access to Internet-cafes. In the meantime, the new Duma's bill is highly confidential.

Everyone keeps quite about the project, like partisans. Deputy Chief of the Information Committee Boris Reznik states the folloinwg: “I have never heard anything about such bill. However, this is not the first attempt.”

Anyway, according to some unidentified sources, the bill does in fact exist and is currently in Kremlin. Most likely, it will be introduced in the lower chamber for consideration sometime next Fall. It may just as well be adopted right after the New Year's.