According to BelTA a part of novelties in the law on mass media are dedicated to protecting children against negative effects of the internet, Belarus' Information Minister Alexander Karlyukevich said in an interview to SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper.
“A big part of novelties have been developed to protect children against the negative influence of the internet and illegal dissemination of their personal data.
Information propagating or encouraging suicide has been banned,” he said.
According to the minister, there will be many important novelties, including amendments and additions regarding the internet.
The law on mass media introduces a number of new terms: "online publications", "internet resource", "owner of the internet resource."
Online publications will refer to internet resources registered with the Information Ministry.
The owner of such a resource will be able to hire journalists who receive the same rights as employees of traditional media.
There are no restrictions on the operation of unregistered websites and portals.
In this case, however, they will not have the status of the media, and their employees, accordingly, will not be regarded as journalists.
Speaking about the need to revise the law on mass media in part of legal relations on the internet, Alexander Karlyukevich noted that network resources provide the same information as traditional newspapers, radio or television.
At the same time, ordinary media operate within a clearly defined legal framework, which implies not only the right to cover certain events, but also a certain social responsibility, for example, for the reliability of the information.
“The worldwide trend is as follows: the rapid development of information technology surpasses lawmaking, which means that the activity of network resources often goes against public interests.
We are trying to fill the gap. The draft law developers used the experience of many states. Russia and Kazakhstan, our EAEU partners, have much more tougher restrictions in the information field,” the minister said.
The minister was puzzled by the rough reaction to the bill's provision, which mandates a compulsory identification procedure for all the users that post any kind of information on websites.
Alexander Karlyukevich also said: “Isn't it obvious that this procedure will first of all protect the website owner who risks getting prosecuted if libels or illegal information are posted on the website?” In response to concerns that the new procedure may lead to mass personal data leaks the official pointed out that the bill clearly stipulates that the Council of Ministers will have to determine how exactly personal identification will work.
The official advised not to believe rumors that the passport data, the home address or the blood type will somehow appear in the users' profiles.
“It is likely that the profile will contain only the usual nickname.
But the website owner will be able to easily identify the user if he or she starts posting illegal or offensive materials”, stated Alexander Karlyukevich.
He also said that the web media owners had been demanding a status for their journalists equal to that of conventional media reporters.
“They were the first to clamor for protection and development of the Belarusian media market, first to say that we need our own content, not adaptations.
All these desires are also taken into consideration by the bill. We offer measures to limit foreign content in our national informational field and specify the required volume of Belarusian television content”, stated the information minister.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License