Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Belarus: Filtering Campaign Websites

by br23blog (Minsk, Belarus)
originally posted 8/2/06 in English

With newspapers, radio, and TV under state control, the Belarusian opposition is using new technologies to get their message out — in particular the Internet. All the candidates campaigning in the 19 March presidential election have launched websites, with many users taking part in online discussions. However, these new forms of campaigning have trouble reaching remote locations with no Internet access — the very places where the most committed supporters of incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka are often to be found… [quoted by br23blog from an uncited source]

It’s a good article, but one important piece of information is missing, the part about Internet filtering and blocking. On 09/09/2001 a few opposition and independent news sites were blocked inside Belarus. I myself wrote an article about that back in 2001, with the technical details on how the blocking was implemented.

I have absolutely no doubt that on March, 19, and perhaps several days prior and after the election date, quite a few websites will be blocked again. First of all, their entries will most probably be deleted from the Belarus’ root DNS server. Second, our telecom monopolist Beltelecom will probably block the actual incoming traffic from the IP addresses that correspond to those domain names.

I can’t see any feasible solution on how to bypass this kind of blocking and pass on information to internet users inside Belarus, should this happen. If you have any ideas, please write to me or leave a comment.

P.S. I did my little contribution by linking to from this blog, but I’m sure it will be #1 item on Lukashenka’s shit list.

democracy themes related to this post: elections

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