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Aliaksandr Sviryd Comments on KGB Internet Control in Belarus

2003 2003-12-15T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 10 December the head of Belarusian KGB Leanid Yeryn publicly stated: “Secret services are to control internet, with the assistance of which representatives of international terrorism and organized crime often communicate. Now we try to create all conditions for control of the internet.”

On 12 December Aliaksandr Sviryd commented the shocking statement about the intention to introduce 20% surplus value tax on mobile phones.

-- I don’t think that Yeryn said that it is KGB that is to control internet. Though, in this case he represented the position of the KGB the head of which he is. No organization must control internet, but the information that appears in internet can be examined, as there appear different expressions including the ones that insult somebody’s honor. Then the victim has the right to refer to the site and apply to the appropriate bodies for defense. No State bodies must control internet: they for instance, dislike some statements about me whereas I can like them.

-- How then you treat the appeal of the deputy Khrol to the KGB head to close the site of the unregistered public initiative “Charter-97”?

-- It is the personal opinion of deputy Khrol, because the KGB has no legal right to close sites. Khrol may have disliked something, but it is his personal thought.

-- What does the new edition of the law “On press” say about internet?

-- The new draft law “On press” has been only half-elaborated so far, that’s why it is too early to speak of it.

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