Belarus tightens rules for Internet users

The FINANCIAL -- MINSK. Visitors to Internet cafes in Belarus will now have to show identification to get online, according to a government decree published on May 5.

The document, published on the national legal website, states that Internet service providers and other providers of telecommunication and information services, such as GPS devices, can only provide a service once they have recorded the full name and ID details of a customer.

Internet cafes should also note when a customer begins and ends an online session.

The Belarusian authorities require Internet service providers to record the browsing activities of individual subscribers.

Critics have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the former Soviet state since 1994, of seeking to restrict the ability of opposition forces to have their voices heard on the web before the 2011 presidential elections.


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