Belarus 'cracking down on internet freedom'

Internet users facing new restrictions after government says it will block any sites it considers "extremist".

    Internet users in Belarus are facing new restrictions after the government announced it would be blocking any sites it considered to be "extremist".

    The action is being seen as a potential setback for the country's opposition movement, which uses the internet to organise itself.

    President Aleksander Lukashenko is facing an increasingly restive opposition, with demonstrations following his election victory in December 2010, when he allegedly took 80 per cent of the vote. Many of those arrested at the time are still in jail.

    From Friday, any internet site providing goods or services to users in Belarus must use the domain name ".by".

    This would make it illegal for firms like Facebook, Amazon, or eBay to operate in the country.

    Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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