1. Belarus national domain registrar Hoster.by acquired international status. Company’s director Sergey Povalishev told DR that the access to the registry of international domains will allow them to lower prices on registration in Belarus.
DR comments: The development will increase domain uptakes among business and general population, thus emphasizing country’s focus on cybersecurity issues.
2. Eurasian Economic Commission started investigation into possible price fixing of Kazakh internet providers. In August Kazakh ISPs announced double increase in prices on internet transit for Kyrgyzstan, causing the Kyrgyz Antimonopoly Service to file a complaint with EEC. If price fixing is proved, Kazakhstan will face fines for violation of antimonopoly law.
DR comments: Apart from making access to Internet more difficult for over 34% of Kyrgyz population, including provision of e-services and education, the move accentuates a very important role Kazakhstan plays in Central Asia as an ‘internet hub’, where issues of content control and the introduction of a new national security certificate received prominent coverage in 2016.
3. Armenia began implementing an electronic notary system connecting notary offices with public institutions. Once the amendments come into force, documents from public officials may be obtained via internet. According to DR sources in Yerevan, the government hopes that new e-notary system will tighten security of electronic transactions and facilitate communication between citizens and public offices.
4. Azerbaijan suggested using USB keys instead of smart cards in order to promote e-signature. USB keys don’t require a card reader and special software and can be easily connected to computer via USB port. Experts told DR that the move is likely to increase citizens’ interest in adopting e-signatures and e-services in general. Another effect from this initiative will be a relative opening of the Azeri cyber domain, and increasing transparency and access to information in the country.
5. Russian authorities are working on decoding citizens’ internet traffic. Natalya Kaspersky, member of the Advisory council of the presidential administration and head of InfoWatch, confirmed information that has been circulating for quite some time. A Russian newspaper reported that Russia’s Security Service (FSB) had been discussing such measure as part of implementation of anti-terror laws.
6. Russia is developing a separate internet segment for children. With the goal of protecting children from negative and harmful content, one of the projects that promotes children’s online content in Russian language is a Cyrillic domain .дети (children). Created in 2014, it has nearly 1,400 resources registered so far. Smart Internet Foundation told DR that a special service monitors all resources for spam, advertisement of alcohol, foul language and other potentially harmful content for children.