Newsweek International on Bielar.us Blockade
Newsweek International published Evgeny Morozov's article on how our hosting provider had blocked this web site. According to the article, the U.S. firms, spooked by export rules, seem to be practicing a kind of self-censorship oddly similar to what Chinese firms do. Let's hope that this exposure will help other Internet bloggers from Belarus and other countries. Here is the story:
Yaraslau Kryvoi was no stranger to censorship. After all, he grew up in Belarus, one of the last "outposts of tyranny" in Europe, as former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice once put it. On Feb. 20, he got a notice from his Web-hosting firm that his account was being suspended and that he had 10 days to remove his content. Like many citizens of authoritarian states, Kryvoi had found himself on a blacklist.
Trouble is, this story takes place in Washington, D.C. Kryvoi, a 29-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, works at a reputable law firm. In his spare time, he administers a blog for the local chapter of the Belarussian American Association (BAA). Since the government of Belarus is subject to U.S. trade sanctions, Bluehost, the Provo, Utah, company that hosts Kryvoi's Web site, decided to cut him off."
The full text of the article is available at Newsweek.com.
Prior to the Newsweek story, others had also expressed concern about this problem: Беларускіх кліентаў не прымаем – Наша Ніва (in Belarusian) Web Host Uses OFAC Sanctions To Boot Dissident Bloggers – Export Law Blog Web Hosts Systematically Silencing International Dissident Blogs– INewsIT