On June 23, the Kazakh parliament passed a law, equating the Internet resources with the media, the News-Kazakhstan news agency reported.
"The Internet should be subject to regulation, if it let it run itself, then we will repeat the historical experience of Moldavia (which occurred after the parliamentary election riots and pogroms), when all walked out via the Internet and all the events of May took place via the Internet, so this legislation is developed to prevent these riots," the news agency quoted Chairman of the Kazakhstan Agency for Informatization and Communication Kuanyshbek Yesekeev, who submitted a bill to the parliamentarians at the plenary session on June 23, RIA Novosti reported.
The parliamentarians voted for the amendment of the Senate to a bill on "Amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of information and communication networks", which equates the Internet resources with the media. In accordance with the regulations, the law is considered to be adopted and sent for signature by the head of state.
These amendments proposed to equate websites, chat rooms, blogs, online stores and electronic libraries with mass media and distribute them to the criminal, civil and administrative responsibility of the traditional media. Foreign Internet resources, since the law came into force, will be blocked, if their content contradict Kazakhstan's legislation.
Earlier it was offered to introduce a rule which would give a right to Attorney General of Kazakhstan of pre-trial suspension of the media. However, this rule was removed during preparation of the bill for a second reading.
Journalism Society of Kazakhstan had a negative response to these amendments. Kazakh Internet users held an action during the discussion of this bill at the Kazakh parliament: for an hour, they left the Kazakh Internet zone and refrained from visiting Kazakh web resources in order to protest against the bill.
The International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech "Adil Soz" recommended withdrawing and redrafting the bill.