Who told that foreign web-sites were prohibited in Belarus?
The world's leading media wrote about the
digital iron curtain, behind which the authorities would hide the Internet from
the Belarusian citizens since January 6. Here are some examples:
"Belarus puts restrictions on foreign internet sites"
"Belarus has outlawed browsing foreign Web sites, making visiting or using
those sites by its citizens a misdemeanor".
"Belarus Breaks the Internet, Raises the Digital Iron Curtain"
Mashable (a major web-resource for it-technologists):
"Censorship: Belarus Makes Certain
Web Behaviors Illegal"
Euroradio has read the message at the web-site of the Law Library of
Congress, to which the
Western media referred to as the initial source. It states the following,
"The newly published Law
imposes restrictions on visiting and/or using foreign websites by Belarusian
citizens and residents".
However, the web-site of the Law Library of Congress claims another initial
source of information - the material published
by the news agency "Interfax-West"! A careless sentence said by business-consultant Alyaksey Shukaeu became a real bomb:
"Amendments to the Code on
Administrative Offences, which include Article 22.16, will lead to Bynet's
blocking by the leading Internet portals".
Euroradio has called Alyaksey Shukaeu. He
is not going to refute his words.
In our opinion, one of the reasons that the world media "prohibited"
the Internet for Belarusians is the officials' non-willingness to explain the
amendments of the Code to the journalists.
Euroradio addressed to the Operative Analytical Center with an enquiry before
the New Year. We asked to explain the amendments to the Code on Administrative
Offences till January 6. There has been no reply so far.
The Center and Valery Tsapkala from the "Park of High Technologies" started speaking only on January 5, when it was too
late to explain anything to anyone. However, it was high time to give excuses.
Valery Tsapkala: "For an ordinary
citizen, filtration of Internet may be conducted only upon his own request. No
fines are prescribed for browsing foreign sites".
Nevertheless, Belarus' reputation abroad
was spoiled once again.
Fyodar Karalenka, creator and
head of the project "Akavita", thinks
that the reason is not an inaccurate translation of the not very good wordings
of the Belarusian Administrative Code:
Fyodar Karalenka: "There
is not such a claim in the text which could have been translated so
inaccurately. I think that this was done on purpose in order to turn attention
to the situation in Belarus, that everything is prohibited here".
The Operative Analytical Center promised to answer Euroradio's enquiry...
within the next working week.