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Iceland Creates Internet-Offshore

Iceland Creates Internet-Offshore
23.06.2010

Parliament of Iceland approved a bill which allows to provide informational asylum to journalists and authors of materials which could arose somebody's discontent, GigaOM writes.

Wikileaks which makes its specialty out of publication of political and corporate damaging information will be the first site which will use new Icelandic rules. Wikileaks carried on negotiations with Icelandic powers since 2009.

The bill we are talking about is a part of the project under the name Icelandic Modern Median Initiative. The aim of the project - reinforcement of expression and informational freedom including - protection of sources of journalists.

Iceland is going to make its projects attractive for foreign resources. Low capacity of internet-channels of the country is the only restriction of the initiative. Powers plans new cable run to provide more reliable connection with other segments of Network.

 


From editorial board: Thing which Iceland does evokes respect and desire to join Motherland of geysers. Of course the only problem for big internet-portals will be low capacity of Icelandic channels but it's solvable problem and it likely will be solved.

For thousands of not very rich users whose network projects count several hundreds visitors and whose turnover is not very high, Icelandic internet-offshore will be like fairy-tale. Actually they are the first who become victims of lawlessness of powers.

For users from CIS Iceland is hard-to-get because of the following reasons: language divide, impossibility to go there personally - tickets are expensive. It's possible, of course, to control resources on the distance but then not the site but its owner will be the main exposure - in fact he is not in offshore, it's possible to bring him to court, imprison.

Though idea, it's possible to say, realized by parliament of Iceland was in the air long time ago and is actual for countries with limited civil freedoms like RF and many other countries of CIS.

Probably it's already not a secret that in 2008 I referred with similar idea to Timoshenko being at the time acting prime-minister of Ukraine, I proposed to create a kind of "informational offshore". It happened when FORUM.msk was thrown out from RF with usage of illegal means. Reporting notice with proposal to use territory of Ukraine as asylum for free press in Runet was directed to the deputy prime-minister of Ukraine of that time Turchinov and evoked interest. After a while theme just got stuck in bureaucratic negotiations - performers had own interest, obviously, different from initially declared ones (in fact it demanded expenditure of certain money purposefully, there was chance to steal - it's not interesting). Later Timoshenko decided that she shouldn't be in contact with the Russian opposition as she had already "settled down" everything with her colleague Putin.

The result is known, now Julia Vladimirovna has to think which country to choose to go to so that she will be safe not like on Don. While for administration of Yanukovich - with all my respect to the Ukrainian president - this question is not hot.

Though the question itself hasn't lost its actuality. Moreover, it's even hotter now.

So, here in view of proposals stated to the president of Belarus by Maxim Kalashikov appearance of informational offshore for CIS in Minsk becomes quite reasonable.

Of course, technical question is quite sharp - both presence of qualitative channels with high capacity and creation of modern data-centers. Though Iceland faces now the same problems, we still have time, at last Belarus being almost in the center of Europe could solve these problems quicker.

Second question - problem of speech in the very Belarus. Now administration of Lukashenko has new, extremely attractive possibility not only to improve image of the republic but also become conductor of freedom of speech in CIS. At last liberalization of public moods in Belarus has been ripened long time ago - here you are the motive.

Possibility to emigrate to the republic not only for internet-resources but also for individuals - is competitive advantage for Belarus in the given case. In conditions of all-round presence of police in the majority of CIS countries it's serious preference.

Certainly, certain share resolution is necessary here as appearance of additional problems is possible. It's, for example, impossible to open informational offshore and then to close it easily in view of changed conjuncture. Though it's more productive for advancement of Belarus in IT sphere, than attempts to create "Belarus windows" and so on made once. It could be substantial action with state help and state guarantees. Possibilities which appear are fantastic, it's necessary only to see them... The Icelanders noticed them.

Аnatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk

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