Browsing Foreign Websites a Misdemeanor in Belarus

The Law requires that all companies and individuals who are registered as entrepreneurs in Belarus use only domestic Internet domains for providing online services, conducting sales, or exchanging email messages. It appears that business requests from Belarus cannot be served over the Internet if the service provider is using online services located outside of the country. The tax authorities, together with the police and secret police, are authorized to initiate, investigate, and prosecute such violations. (Id.)

Additionally, the Law states that the owners and administrators of Internet cafés or other places that offer access to the Internet might be found guilty of violating this Law and fined and their businesses might be closed if users of Internet services provided by these places are found visiting websites located outside of Belarus and if such behavior of the clients was not properly identified, recorded, and reported to the authorities. The Law states that this provision may apply to private individuals if they allow other persons to use their home computers for browsing the Internet. (Id.)

When I read this at first, I thought it was a democratic nation that was restricting internet access of its citizens. I had no idea Belarus is one of the last authoritative regimes. That explains a bit more, as anything that can be used to challenge your power will be tried to shut down. However, even democratic societies are restricting internet access for its citizens, like Australia most notably.

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