Changes in the law “On Mass Media” are being prepared in Belarus, which will primarily concern Internet publications and social networks. The draft of this document was at the disposal of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. On the website of the Belarusian Association of Journalists today, the main points that are proposed to change in the law are published .
- The bill allows for the voluntary registration of Internet resources as media (for such a term “network publications” is introduced). They and their employees will receive (in a somewhat truncated form) the rights of traditional media. Other sites will also be able to work, but without the status of the media.
- In case of failure to register as a media, Internet resources will not be able to apply to state bodies and other organizations for the accreditation of their correspondents.
- Restriction of access to Internet resources will continue to be carried out extrajudicially. And for online publications, the lockout can lead to the cancellation of the certificate of registration of the network publication. Also without trial.
- It is mandatory to identify users who post materials in Internet resources (not only in online publications), including commentators, as well as on forums. The order of identification of users will be determined by the Council of Ministers of Belarus.
- According to the BAJ, amendments to the law allow the blocking of social networks. Further, the draft law is cited: “In the absence of the technical feasibility of implementing a decision to restrict access to the component part of the Internet resource and the owner of the Internet resource is not within the time limits set by the republic’s public administration body in the field of mass information on the removal of information contained on this component of the Internet -resource, the republican body of state administration in the sphere of mass information has the right to take a decision on restricting access to the Internet resource as a whole ” .
- There is a simplified procedure for restricting access to Internet resources without the Ministry of Information’s warning and additional grounds are being introduced for this. For example, the use of an Internet resource for the implementation of prohibited activities in accordance with the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.
- The possibility of renewing access to Internet resources that fall into the “black list” is prescribed, but only by contacting the Ministry of Information and without indicating the possibility of appealing its decision in court.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists prepares its comments on the draft law, they will be submitted to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly by April 9.