As the Ukrainian government has decreed the governing of websites by enforcing compulsory registration, before websites go online. This latest move has led to serious commotion among the local media, as well as Reporters Without Borders (RSF), who claim the decree is an infringement on freedom of speech and a giant leap towards internet censorship.
So far, obligated registration is practiced in China and Vietnam, notorious for their lack of freedom of expression and heavy censorship.
After the decree, adopted on May 18th, RSF is keeping a watchful eye on Ukraine, in fear that the country will fall victim to the same fate.
According to RSF, not only must websites register with authorities, but “to be allowed to appear, sites must not call for ‘a change of government through violence” or support “terrorism”, not damage individuals’ ‘honour’, ‘dignity” or ‘reputation’ and not post ‘swear words’ or pornographic content.”
For the time being, the Ministry of Transport and Communication assures the concerned organizations that registration of websites will only be compulsory for government websites.
The original decree, presented on April 27th, did in fact include both public and private sites, but apparently declared private websites optional, when it received severe criticism of an obvious attempt at internet censorship.
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