Legislation to Regulate the Internet on Verkhovna Rada’s Agenda. Overview of the Month

This month, our map of incidents in the sphere of Internet freedom includes the following: 1) the SSU’s letter to Ukrayinska Pravda, 2) disciplinary proceedings against Yuriy Lutsenko and Anatolii Matios 3) deportations of foreign journalists 4) protests of NGOs against passing bills on regulating the Internet 5) uncovering of a source of fake news 6) leading Ukrainian media failing the fact checking test, and other incidents. Please find more details on the infographic below.

We regularly monitor incidents and violations of Internet freedom in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. The results of the monitoring and our analytics are available on our website: netfreedom.org.ua

Stop draft laws that will regulate the Internet the Russian way

In the summer and autumn 2017, key media-related NGOs, experts and activists urged the deputies not to support draft laws #2126a on cyber security and #6688 on pretrial blocking of Internet resources. In case the current version of draft law #2126a is passed, it may restrict the right of people to receive public information. And draft law #6688 may lead to restrictions in exercising their rights and freedoms for citizens and persecution of political opponents regardless of national security concerns.

NGOs including NGO “Internews Ukraine”, Institute of Mass Information, Information Security, Detector Media, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, and European media platform have emphasized it in their joint statements issued on July 13 and September 5.

It should be noted that the previous draft law #6676 with the same content as draft law #6688 which was registered on July 10 was withdrawn from Verkhovna Rada’s agenda thanks to the pressure from NGOs.

On September 15, 2017 Internet Freedom team brought together experts Oleksandr Fediyenko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Internet Association, Tetiana Popova, expert on communications from NGO Information Security, Igor Rozkladay, lawyer of the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, and Vitalii Moroz, head of new media program in NGO “Internews Ukraine” to discuss the proposed regulations in the Internet sphere.

Source: UNIAN

“It is important that after our appeal draft law #6676 was withdrawn. This is a positive signal that means that the authorities take into account the opinion of the civil society,” Tetiana Popova, expert on communications from NGO Information Security, said.


Analyzing TOP incidents in the sphere of Internet freedom

Internet Freedom team prepared a selection of 15 important incidents that happened in the sphere of Internet development in Ukraine between October 2016 and July 2017. We are considering as incidents the events that may cause violation of Internet freedom, cause public reaction, and evidence the challenges for the development of the Internet in times of conflict in Ukraine.

We chose 15 incidents that in our opinion are the most significant for the country and the consequences of which will have impact on further development of Internet freedom in Ukraine, and have described them as follows: 1) incident description; 2) causes; 3) implications. Also, taking into account the nature of the incidents, we added 4) reaction of the law enforcement, and 5) recommendations for users.


Monitoring and Explanations

They don’t know how. Communication between the SSU and mass media during the deportation of foreign journalists was insufficient. Between August 25 and 30, three foreign journalists were detained and deported from the territory of Ukraine. The correspondent of Russian Channel One — for propaganda activities, as well as two Spanish journalists — for untrue coverage of the military actions in the East of Ukraine. The main problem related to these incidents is low level of communication between the SSU and mass media, experts explain. MORE

Believed the deputy’s post. Leading Ukrainian media failed a fact-checking exam, sharing a post that deputy Volodymyr Ariev wrote on Facebook about how “one of the most famous human rights organizations assigned Crimea to Russia” and that by having done so it “condones the Russian occupants”. Such well-known editions as Novoye Vremya, Gazeta.ua, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, TSN, UNIAN, and the others have shared false information. READ MORE

Explaining: 7 steps to improve cyber security. On August 31, Poroshenko signed into action the decision of the National Security and Defense Council that provides for increasing responsibility for cyber attacks against authorities; also, the state will look for donors among foreign governments, and two new structures will be created; banks will get better protection, and businesses will be involved in the process of ensuring cyber security. DETAILS

The SSU has uncovered a source of fake news spread by Russian secret services. According to the SSU, the Russian secret services publish articles by fictitious authors that contain deliberately fake information presented as information from a foreign source, and later share them on similar pro-Russian information resources. DETAILS

On the International Day of Solidarity of Journalists, people demanded to free hostages Stanislav Vasin and Roman Sushchenko. Russia-controlled armed formation ‘DNR’ confirmed that Donetsk blogger and journalist Stanislav Aseev is on the exchange lists. Another Ukrainian journalist, the correspondent for Ukrainian national information agency Ukrinform Roman Sushchenko, has been in Russian Lefortovo prison for over a year now. MORE


How to launch ‘smart contracts’ without agents with the help of cryptocurrency? We explain how this system works at the example of Ethereum: the idea of decentralization of any processes and the possibility to launch ‘smart contracts’ without agents. MORE

The additional presentation of our handbook with recommendations on information security on the Internet took place in Lviv. During the presentation, participants discussed freedom of speech on the Internet. Our partners from Tvoye Misto published a brief report on the event.

In the previous overview, we wrote about the threat of pretrial blocking of websites which is hanging over Ukraine. The overview is available here.

The overview has been written by NGO “Internews Ukraine” as part of implementing the project Internet Freedom in Ukraine: Supporting the Principles of Freedom of Speech and Security in the Time of Conflict.”


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