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Kazakhstan: State support and censorship on the Internet

“As I thought, this year will prove to be a breakthrough for the Kazakhstani Internet”, says izhanov [ru].

The process of creation а start-up projects and interesting web-ideas has already started last year naturally, as a consequence of lowered cost of Internet access and higher speed on the intra-Kazakhstani traffic. A number of blog platforms, social networks, photo- and file hostings, citizen journalism websites and podcast portals. In recent months, the state has revealed its steadfast interest in the virtual space. It has funded several projects from the budget – and as they promise, “it is only a beginning”. The e-government website has been redesigned, the presidential web-page is also awaiting change of design. Izumcheg suggests going further and using up-to-date technologies on an institutional level [ru]:

I think that in order to increase transparency of state purchases via automated systems, it is necessary to publish their source code under the General Public License. The same should apply to the e-voting system “Sailau” [Election].

Meanwhile, the most popular Russian-language blog platform Livejournal is still blocked in Kazakhstan since October last year. Recently, the opposition websites started suffereing from massive DDoS attacks campaign. One of such victims is the website of independent weekly “Respublika”, which often criticizes the prime-minister.

Its website is attacked and filteres, and they wrote about it to the prime minister. In response, he posted the newspaper's articles in his official blog. I think, it's a creative and powerful response, writes megakhuimyak [ru].

The well-known blogger's opinion is not shared by the chief editor of Internet-newspaper Zonakz.net, which has been experiencing DDoS attacks for two weeks. He alleges that the attacks were connected to the publication of 1. appeals that urged the people to partake in the opposition's rally and 2. materials from the rally, which demanded resignation of the government:

Of course, you can say (like you said to “Respublika” newspaper) – “publish your articles in my blog”. I appreciate the originality of this idea, but it does not satisfy me at all. We want to publish articles in our newspaper. Otherwise we could close down all critical newspapers and make them post their stuff in your blog.

“Terrorism on the web is a poblem that has to be solved by the law enforcement bodies. Who makes these attacks? It is time to find that out”, writes Yuri Mizinov in his open letter to the prime-minister, and asks whether he, the head of the government, has any connection to these attacks [ru].

Also posted on neweurasia.

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