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Belarus restricts internet access

Belarus restricts internet access
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New laws have come into force in Belarus restricting access to a range of internet sites that the government deems ‘extremist’.

The regime has not revealed the blacklist, but analysts believe it will include opposition and human rights websites.

The ban, which the government is promoting as a service, will apply in state insitutions and educational establishments.

Ludmila Chekina, from the company that administers the Belarussian ‘.by’ domaine suffix said: ‘If someone uses the internet at home or a commercial organisation and doesn’t want to use the service on restricting sites prohibited under the law, he can still visit them. Nobody has the right to restrict his actions.’

The new law, though, requires cyber-cafe owners to collect and keep details of their users, and make them available to the police if requested.

There has been determined opposition to the hardline president Alexander Lukashenko, especially since he was re-elected in December 2010.