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Belarusian authorities restrict access to 80 websites

Author: Mikhail Doroshevich


According to Belarusian state news agency BELTA, 80 websites are listed as restricted access resources. That means that these websites are not available at state and educational institution as well as at the “institutions for culture”. BELTA notes that the list includes extremist websites predominantly. In addition to that there is a “ fairly large number of pornography sites”.

The list is formed by State agency on supervision for telecommunications of the Republic of Belarus http://belgie.by/node/130 . It is based on the decisions of the heads of State Control Committee, General Prosecutors Office, Operative Analytical Center , of other state agencies, and not through judicial procedures. It was decided that there will be two lists: publicly available and a closed one, which is available only for” internet services suppliers”. However, the public list is still empty http://www.belgie.by/files/Spisok_obzhii.xls.

The regulation on the procedural aspects of restricted access to resources was adopted on June 29, 2010. Since then up to November 2011 (that is during a year and a half) access to 40 resources has been restricted. But during the last nine months, BELTA informs, the number of restricted access websites has doubled. It is not explained what list is meant - public, closed or both.

BELTA points out that according to Belarusian legislation these resources of restricted access are still available for private users (households). However, users can apply to providers and demand to restrict their access to websites included to both public and closed lists. Internet providers are authorized to provide other services in the field of access restriction: virus protection, internetwork masking, access restriction accompanied by websites content analysis and so on. Since January 2012, according to the amendments to Administrative Code, Internet providers are liable for violation of access restrictions adopted by State agency on supervision for telecommunications.

BELTA points out that Belarusian authorities are working on alternatives to restricted access lists. In particular, since the beginning of 2011 BLTLECOM has been preparing conversion to specialized DNS-servers system which allows traffic monitoring as well as blocking user’s access to online resources in real-time operation mode.

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