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Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"
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Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:08AM (#30638432)

    Apart from internet cafes, which are blanketed with CCTV cameras, all users in Western nations also need to register to use the internet. Registration is with a third party, but the government has access to all third party information, so effectively the same thing. This is simply "the east" catching up with "the west".

    People who felt the government shouldn't turn too big have largely been proved right when it comes to the area of surveillance - every Western nation will have total online oversight.

  • D'oh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:08AM (#30638434)
    President Alexander Lukashenko is going a long way towards making identity theft even easier. Imagine how much simpler it would be to steal an identity with the existence of 'accounts' like this- especially as they aren't tied to specific addresses or machines, as TFA mentions that the requirements also apply to Internet cafes.

    I wonder how much Prez Luka would like it if someone posted on 4chan under his "Internet passport?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:12AM (#30638448)

    It seems unthinkable that this could happen in western democracies, but it is only a matter of time. The freewheeling and uncontrolled nature of the net was a grand experiment, but it is not tolerable to political power structures because they do not control it or even quite understand it. It can also threaten them (see Iran).

    It's not politically feasible for most western governments to come out and take such steps directly, but it'll be rolled out slowly over time "for our own good", with each step along the way being justifiable to protect us against something that everyone agrees is bad.

    The only way to fight this is for everyone to start using strong encryption for everything and protecting their anonymity even if it isn't always convenient, and even if they have nothing to hide. But that is less likely to happen than for Paris Hilton to win the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics.

    I give the mostly-uncensored internet a total lifetime of less than 25 more years from the present, if we're lucky. For a while it'll be possible, but criminal, to access it anonymously, but eventually that'll become impractical as governments clamp down to protect IP/the children/stop terror/prevent civil unrest.

    Wait, and watch.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato