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#Belarus: a state crackdown on anarchist Internet resources

Belarusian state continues an attack on anarchist web-resources. Recently it blocked several social media accounts of anarchist collective “Pramen” and its mirror on wordpress.org.

Submitted to Enough is Enough. A part of the article was taken from the Pramen blog.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Belarus: a state crackdown on anarchist Internet resources

Over a year ago our website and group in vk.com (the most popular social media site in post-USSR countries) were blocked by decision of court, considering information on the website to be extremist. Several weeks ago new round of attack from Ministry of information came. The new group, created after the blocking, was blocked also. At that moment it had around 1450 subscribers. Of cause, we have founded a new one – and certainly it will also be blocked soon:)

Several accounts of a users, that were running the group, were also blocked on territory of Belarus. Apart from that Belarusian government has added to the black list mirrors of the website in other social networks – Tumblr, WordPress, Livejournal and Diaspora. Before that our group in Facebook was blacklisted as well.

And although it is not possible for Belarusian government to block Facebook, Diaspora and Twitter due to some technical decisions made by those social networks, other networks and our mirror on WordPress.com are not available anymore on the territory of Belarusian state: notification about illegal information appears in your browser instead.

belaruspramen2.jpg
Text on the screenshot above says: “This material is blocked on a territory of Belarus according to the decision of a Ministry of information of Republic of Belarus”

It is worth mentioning that last year the Ministry of information have blocked several major liberal oppositional news websites with hundreds of thousands of daily visitors. On top of that at the end of 2016 Belarusian government have successfully implemented blocking of tor network leading to 50% drop in users of service [1].

Belarus haven’t achieved level of China in censorship of the internet yet. There are still oppositional websites running online, however the trend points in negative direction with possibly few year away from total Internet censorship. This is also proven by the new law on mass media that is expected to pass in April, which tightens even more possibilities for non-govermental media to operate. One of the demands of this new law is an obligation to identify each user who posts a comment.

As for our collective – although the website is blocked and accessible only via Tor Browser and VPN, in Belarus the user base is steadily growing. By now we have averagely 110 unique users a day only on a website). Our pages in social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Diaspora) give possibility for people to follow activities of an anarchist movement, and we are continuing to fight and hope that you too!

Also you can help us to fight censorship by providing donation, which will be spend on enlarging our media possibilities and reinforcing offline activities:

Bitcoin: 1GA6BbhWArCmJDkK7chD2yiD2TGeBREy7p
Paypal: pramen@riseup.net

1: https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2016-01-05&end=2018-04-05&country=by&events=off


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