Belarus restricts access to foreign websites

Belarus restricts access to foreign websites

Belarus restricts access to foreign websites

AFP photo

A new law in Belarus set to take effect on Jan. 6 will restrict Internet users' access to foreign websites, reported today. 

The law also forces Internet café owners to report users visiting sites registered outside of Belarus.  
Anyone selling goods to Belarus citizens must use the .by Belarusian domain name, according to the law. That would make it illegal for firms like Amazon or eBay to sell goods to customers in Belarus. 

Fines for breaking the law range as high as $120. Anyone found accessing "extremist" or "pornographic" content will also be fined. 

President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power in Belarus since 1994. His silencing of the opposition has been condemned by the European Union and the United States.

 Belarus opposition website Charter 97 was disabled by a cyber attack and false news was published regarding the opposition's presidential candidate, Andrei Sannikov, in late December. 

Charter 97's co-founder Sannikov was jailed for five years in May for organizing mass protests during the December 2010 presidential election.

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