- Belarusian companies have to offer service from servers located in Belarus physically.
- Owners of internet-cafe have to identify all users so any connection could be tied to particular identity anytime.
I am not saying this is right, but for country like Belarus it is quite minor issue. I was almost excluded from university due my participation in opposition movement and know a bit about wire tapping phone lines (including mobile - have no clue how they do it actually).
I am glad it did to front page of HN. It means someone still bother what is going on there.. :)
* Scratch that, the text notes a misdemeanor, is there no way to strike text on HN? ~~The offense is entirely civil, not criminal.~~
* Belarusians registered as entrepreneurs (individuals or companies) must provide their service to belarusians from a belarusian domain.
* Owners of internet cafés or other places providing internet access must restrict their access to belarusian domains or identify, record and report any access to a non-belarusian domain to the authorities.
* The law includes a provision for government-ordered blocking of banned websites by ISPs.
The note linked does not seem to specify any offense by citizens not registered as entrepreneurs and not business owners, although the second paragraph may hint at information missing from this note:
> The newly published Law imposes restrictions on visiting and/or using foreign websites by Belarusian citizens and residents. Under this new Law, the violation of these rules is recognized as a misdemeanor and is punished by fines of varied amounts, up to the equivalent of US$125. (Id.)
(immediately following this paragraph is the section on entrepreneurs in point 1)
As I can not read Belarusian, I can not assert the correctness of the english note linked or which informations are missing, I'm interested in corrections or more complete informations from native speakers.
edit: I seem to have missed a section of the second paragraph which, while it does not make the title any more correct, makes the law even more worrying: foreign internet use would not be a civil offense for belarusian citizens but being a foreign service used by belarusians in business contexts would be:
> It appears that business requests from Belarus cannot be served over the Internet if the service provider is using online services located outside of the country.
сети, системы или ресурсы mean networks, systems, or [hardware] resources.
It reads that networks, systems, or resources must be located in Belarus.
Business entities engaged in activities on the sale of goods, works and services in the Republic of Belarus with the use of information networks, systems and resources with an Internet connection, you should pay attention: if these networks, systems or resources are not available on the territory of Belarus and (or) not registered in the prescribed manner to the subjects can be applied to an administrative penalty of a fine from 10 to 30 base units.
"Located" being the vital difference here.
Fines suggest a criminal, not civil, offences. Damages would suggest a civil offence.
Call those damages if you like.
> Административное взыскание в виде штрафа (в размере от 5 до 15 базовых величин) может налагаться на должностных лиц пунктов коллективного пользования интернет-услугами (компьютерные клубы, интернет-кафе, домашние сети и иные места, в которых обеспечивается коллективный доступ пользователей интернет-услуг к сети Интернет) при нарушении законодательных актов об идентификации абонентских устройств и пользователей, по учету и хранению сведений о них, а также об оказанных интернет-услугах.
BTW, as of your 'propaganda'. Do you think our gov't has ever been fair at least for 1 second? They violate their own laws, they violate our rights, c'mon.
Get to European soil and ask for asylum. It is not much, but at least it is better than Belarus.
Anyway I will not spend even a day here after I'm 18. I gonna work for some cool startup also.
Be careful though, to immigrate to the United States on an H1 (work visa), you need a university degree. I'd suggest either trying to immigrate to Europe (any EU country) and getting a degree there, getting a degree in Belarus, or perhaps going to the United States as a foreign student.
[Edit: s/college/university/ -- college is an American term. My fifth grade English teacher in Belarus must be angry at me for forgetting Queen's English that I was taught :-)]
It is not as closed as North Korea, but it also isn't exactly the kinda place where you would go vacationing.
There has been no indication of an Arab Spring situation, but there have been a few widely reported protests (and oppression of the people involved) they may just be widely reported because they were done by women with no tops.
As for why they do this? Because if you are a dictator and want to stay that way, you avoid and control everything that can challenge your power.
Even while it's a small country with no mineral resources, bad climate and no love from the West.
This is going to change, tho, because it was hit hard by the recession and clumsily moving central bank; money inflated 3x in the last year.
I assume you mean among countries that was part of USSR? Not exactly:
Not to mention countries that have been soviet sattelites like Hungary (18,841), Poland (18,981), or Czech Republic (24,950).
To be fair Belarus could still do much worse - for example like Ukraine (6,698).
Data from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_...
Russia has much bigger GINI which offsets the difference.
I don't know if this qualify as a consolation, but Hungary is making huge strides on the way to dictatorship too.
Officially they say they use it to prevent illegal activity. But in reality government just want to know who doing what in internet.
ps: in this sense it quite similar to all recent USA bills and "this is to protect our children" moto :))
>As stated in an explanatory note published together with the Law, this act was issued to implement the Decree of the Belarusian President of February 1, 2010, on Improvements to the Usage of the National Segment of the Internet.
This appears to mean that the official justification for the law is to promote national providers of internet services. The most cogent consequence is that it becomes practicable to control the internet speech of most Belorussians.
Belarus, the land of no applause (http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/belarus-land-no-a...)
The law in question seems to be vague, stupid and prone to interpretations, but that doesn't make lying right.
This sounds like criminal prosecution, no?
Edit: or maybe just a bad/misleading translation.
Didn't see anything about secret service in the law.
But административное means civil in Russian. Criminal would be уголовное.
The problem is, of course, that everything is a service. webmail? service. wikipedia? service! or not? interpretation.
And also that cloud hosting is pervasive yet becomes useless.
It's stupid but still you should not lie.
> Second lie: the cited law says nothing about individuals being liable. It says, that if you sell or provide services in belarus then your hardware should be located there.
Can you read the law in the text? The english note only talks about domains:
> only domestic Internet domains for [...]
Furthermore, this is only a constraint for belarusians providing services in/to belarus:
> The Law requires that all companies and individuals who are registered as entrepreneurs in Belarus
> The problem is, of course, that everything is a service. webmail? service. wikipedia? service!
Essentially all internet communication yes, there's a (non-exhaustive, I assume) list:
> for providing online services, conducting sales, or exchanging email messages.
> And also that cloud hosting is pervasive yet becomes useless.
Yes it looks like there's a blanket ban on using services external to belarus if there's a business transaction involved:
although it's not clear whether the offense would be put on the user or on the service provider. The final paragraph hints it would be the latter.
I can't read Russian, but a machine-translated version of the official notice (linked in the article) also mentions home use.
Administrative penalty of a fine (ranging from 5 to 15 basic units) may be imposed on officials of the centers for collective use of the web services (computer clubs, Internet cafes, home networking,
So if you're using ADSL (yeah we mostly use it here in Belarus), that shouldn't apply to you.
I wonder if they are bound to let Russian internet firms operate on Belarussian market unconstrained by any local laws; therefore giving them even more advantage.
Of course this is pure speculation; we do not know if they are going to enforce this law at all.
Also... How many security patches are obtained from foreign servers?
No problem with prohibiting something to the general population and still using it when it's convenient for the rulling class.
BTW - Poland tries to do sth about Lukashenko (like sponsoring "Radio Free Bellarusia", and promising more trade and loans if he will be less opressive towards opposition). But I don't know if it works at all.
And knowing how government enterprises works in Poland, Radio Free Bellarusia probably suck :)
The discussion going on about whether it's a criminal or civil offense is really pointless. The main thing is that a country can simply decide one morning that it's illegal to access websites from other countries. Thinking about this as a possible reality makes me feel physically ill. Not to mention how stupid this idea is in the first place: many modern professions rely heavily on international websites for doing their jobs. Think about academic researchers, importers/exporters, even school teachers...
Horrible, just horrible.
I know it hurts to let a domain name go, especially if you're using it, but I urge you not to renew. That government doesn't deserve our money.
¹Let's face it, rent is the correct term.
Anyone who was happy with .ly should be happy with .by
If only the western governments held themselves to the same moral standards while considering financial support for the Belarusian regime.
you can put an encrypted tunnel into a connection which looks quite ordinary.