The Ministry of Communications and Information (MoC) in Belarus has published new laws effectively banning home access to the internet. In a policy statement issued by national monopoly Beltelcom, fresh rules were unveiled that limit access to the web to companies and government organisations, but specifically omit private individuals. Domestic internet domain operators not associated with a company or government agency will be terminated and those operators or individuals that violate the new rules could face heavy fines or even prison. The internet market in Belarus is very much in its infancy, with around 1,300 domains, almost all non-commercial, and 14,000 users. If Beltelecom puts the new rules into effect it will drastically reduce access to international media in a country already firmly under the grip of authoritarian president Aleksander Lukashenko.
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