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Kazakhstan: Kazakh bloggers against online censorship

The Kazakh Internet regulation amendments which were sent to the Parliament last week have woken up the Kazakh language bloggers’ activism. A lot of posts in Kazakh language tried to analyze the influence of the draft law on the future of Kazakhstani segment of the Internet. Some are full of harsh criticism, while the other are not to surprised with the developments.

Janarbek Matay, one of the founders of the popular Kazakh website “Massagan.com” agrees that the Government should regulate the Kaznet, but believes this draft law is a rush project [kaz]:

“This is not the law that I was expecting. It will put barriers to blogs or sites even if they misspell a word. I doubt that it will be able to ban really dangerous sites. We need a law, which will filter porn and pirates”.

“They are going to kill blogs with one bullet”, say Urimtal and Symbat [kaz]:

“I have expected this… Did bloggers say that there is a need in Internet regulation? They did. Well, dreams come true…”

Nurgisa interviewed several bloggers on his own blog regarding this draft law. Most bloggers said that if we plan to regulate the .kz zone, we must focus on the sites which feature extremist propaganda or have offensive content.

Admin of the “Massagan” portal Bakytnur says [kaz]:

“If they are really going to regulate the online content, first of all, I suggest them banning nazist and xenophobia sites, while Kazakh web-sites need a hidden support from the government”.

Unfortunately, there is nothing of a kind in the draft law. The bloggers's major concern is that it considers blogs, social networks and chats as mass media outlets. Arsenal says [kaz]:

“The government wants this law to ban “bad” sites under tricky pretexts”.

Ansar agrees with Arsenal’s point and adds [kaz]:

“Majilis has so many bad ideas. It's a pity that there are not many intelligent persons there. How we can trust the nation's destiny to the person who can't see the difference between web-site and blog”.

“Mylzhyn professor” shares his point. He says that there is a lack of information around the draft law [kaz]:

“If owners of web-sites were responsible for the online content and excercised self-regulation themselves, we wouldn't need this amendment. But every user has different intentions”.

Baurzhan thinks about the future developments, should the president sign this law into force [kaz]:

“I think this law is aimed only at the opposition's content. The government doesn’t care about the Kazakh language content. If they implement it, I will register my blog on .com and will say that it is run by a Kazakh from the U.S.”

In brief, the Kazakh language bloggers’ main disagreement is that this draft law would make it possible to ban a blog for any reason, while bloggers would have no rights.

Also posted on neweurasia.

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