Will Kyrgyz Copy Neighbours' Web Controls?

A new law passed recently in Kazakstan gives the state greater powers to control the internet, but for the moment Kyrgyzstan does not appear to be following suit.

Will Kyrgyz Copy Neighbours' Web Controls?

A new law passed recently in Kazakstan gives the state greater powers to control the internet, but for the moment Kyrgyzstan does not appear to be following suit.

Tuesday, 15 September, 2009
The Kazak law, which redesignates internet resources as media outlets and treats them accordingly, is officially intended to stop criminal activity, hate speech and pornography, but critics decry it as a form of government censorship.



Another neighbour, Uzbekistan, has even tighter internet controls, and website owners have to exercise self-censorship and moderate user comments rigorously in order to stay in business.



As Sabina Reingold reports, similar internet legislation has been mooted in Kyrgyzstan, but members of parliament have dropped the idea – at least for the moment – after some consultation and debate.



Kyrgyzstan still enjoys a fair amount of internet freedom, according to Bektur Iskender who edits the kloop.kg portal site.



“In that respect, Kyrgyzstan is an example to the other Central Asian states,” he said. “We haven’t experienced the nastier side of things, for instance government agencies blocking sites.



“But on the other hand, the extent of freedom has diminished somewhat.”
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