Censorship: Belarus Makes Certain Web Behaviors Illegal

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Jerlene, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Jerlene

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    Feb 3, 2011
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    A new law in Belarus will restrict access to foreign websites, and will require Internet cafes and clubs to report users who visit forbidden pages.

    The Eastern European country's law (Improvements to the Usage of the National Segment of the Internet, law number 317-3), goes into effect Friday -- censorship making it illegal to conduct ecommerce with Belarusian citizens through sites outside the country's .by domain name.

    [More from Mashable: 2011′s Biggest Winners and Losers in Ecommerce]

    All companies and individuals registered as entrepreneurs in Belarus must use the national portal for conducting business, providing services and exchanging email, explains the Library of Congress in an online post. That means citizens are restricted from buying from Amazon or the Apple Store, and selling on eBay, among many other sites.

    The law's restrictions don't stop without banning "extremist" and "pornographic" sites.

    [More from Mashable: 5 Tech Trends to Watch in 2012]

    Citizens caught breaking the new law -- as well as those providing Internet connection to people breaking the law -- can be punished with fines of up to 1 million Belarus rubles (about $125) by the tax authorities, police and secret police.

    Both the U.S. and the UK have condemned President Alexander Lukashenko's repression of his political opponents, restricted travel to the country, and frozen assets channeled to the government, the BBC reports.

    Do you think Belarus is helping its economy by keeping ecommerce on its own domain sites or is it hurting itself by restricting foreign business?

    This story originally published on Mashable here.
  2. DeniseTaylor

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    Mar 26, 2010
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    This is so surreal!

    At first it seems paranoid, but perhaps sites like Amazon are a huge threat to its economy. Sure seems they should find a better workaround.

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