MINSK, 5 April (BelTA) – The personal identification of website users has to first of all protect the website owner, BelTA learned from the interview Belarusian Information Minister Alexander Karlyukevich gave to the SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper.
The minister was puzzled by the rough reaction to the bill's provision, which mandates a compulsory identification procedure for all the users that post any kind of information on websites. Alexander Karlyukevich also said: “Isn't it obvious that this procedure will first of all protect the website owner who risks getting prosecuted if libels or illegal information are posted on the website?”
In response to concerns that the new procedure may lead to mass personal data leaks the official pointed out that the bill clearly stipulates that the Council of Ministers will have to determine how exactly personal identification will work. The official advised not to believe rumors that the passport data, the home address or the blood type will somehow appear in the users' profiles. “It is likely that the profile will contain only the usual nickname. But the website owner will be able to easily identify the user if he or she starts posting illegal or offensive materials”, stated Alexander Karlyukevich.
He also said that the web media owners had been demanding a status for their journalists equal to that of conventional media reporters. “They were the first to clamor for protection and development of the Belarusian media market, first to say that we need our own content, not adaptations. All these desires are also taken into consideration by the bill. We offer measures to limit foreign content in our national informational field and specify the required volume of Belarusian television content”, stated the information minister.