Kazakhstan bans LiveJournal
Twenty web sites, including the famous LiveJournal.com, have been blocked in Kazakhstan. A court decision ruled that some blogs contained extremism propaganda.
Reports say the move was initiated by a prosecutor who had appealed to a court in Astana, asking to prosecute some websites based abroad, including the U.S. LiveJournal.com (LJ). The prosecutor said these resources had been used to distribute illegal data and promote the ideas of terrorism and religious extremism. The court says the decision has already taken effect but may be appealed. However, LJ users say the blogs had been blocked before the court decision took place.
Pavel Lebedev of ‘The World of Internet’ public foundation comments: "Any web resource is place for communication. And it would be better to settle the issue with those who are running these blogs rather than imposing a ban on their pages. Such radical measures are justified only if there is a threat to national security. Remember the recent uprising in Africa: first of all, people were banned access to mobile services and Internet, and this was the right thing to do".
Notably, Internet services are favored on a high level in neighboring Uzbekistan. A recent survey shows that there are almost 8 million Internet users in Uzbekistan with no web sites closed. LiveJournal is one of the most popular web resources in Russia, too. When LJ was hacked in the spring, President Dmitry Medvedev wrote a post in his personal blog to condemn poor access to the popular web site.
In his blog on Twitter the Kazakh Communication and Information Minister Askar Zhumagaliev confirmed the closure of several web resources but did not elaborate on the issue. Meanwhile, Kazakh Internet users feel upset about the lack of access to their online blogs. Like millions of other Internet users all over the glove, they have long got used to having personal LJ accounts.