New Belarus Internet regulations require compulsory web registration

By EDRi · May 19, 2010

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Deutsch: [Neue wei├črussische Internetverordnungen verlangen verpflichtende Webregistrierung |]

Based on a decree issued on 1 February 2010 by President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, Belarus Council of Ministers adopted five resolutions
introducing new Internet regulations which require a compulsory registration
of all web sites and the collection of personal data of Internet cafe users.

According to one of the resolutions, the registration is required for all
Internet resources on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, irrespective
of their commercial or non-commercial nature. Starting with 1 July 2010,
legal entities and individual entrepreneurs are obliged to make the
transition to the use of information networks, systems and resources of the
national segment of the Internet, located on the territory of the Republic
of Belarus.

Lawyer Lyudmila Chekin explained that, in terms of the resolutions, all
Internet resources that are on the territory of Belarus must be registered
as Internet Service Providers. It seems it is still not clear what specific
provider the law will apply to: the hosting provider which provides virtual
hosting, or only to the physical host. Providers will also need to record
additional information (a statement in the State Register of information
networks, systems and resources, including more than 30 points that cover
not only the name, passport details and contact of the owners of the
resource, but also a detailed description of the site, network (IP) resource
addresses, domain names, registration number of the data centre, the type of
hosting used by resource ports transport protocols and others.)

Moreover, besides the fact that all websites must register and that the
registration will cost, they must also be hosted in Belarus which implicitly
means that all foreign-based sites may be sanctioned, leading to the
termination of their service provision. The decree leaves however room for
interpretation. According to Chekin, a first possible interpretation could
be that the requirements for the transition to the Belarusian hosting would
only apply to residents or non-residents having a permanent establishment on
the territory of Belarus. A second possible interpretation could be that the
provision of Internet services on the territory of the Republic of Belarus
by non-residents who do not have branches or representative offices in
Belarus is completely prohibited.

Belarus New Internet Regulations (12.05.2010)

Regulated enough? (only in Russian, 12.05.2010)

EDRi-gram: Censorship in Belarusian Internet cafes (27.02.2010)