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From Mr. Andriy Pazyuk,
president of NGO Privacy Ukraine
118 POB, Kyiv-54, Ukraine, 01054


Ukrainian ISPs demonstrate their willingness to be subservient to Big Brother

Ukrainian ISPs jointly with law-enforcement agencies organized closed meeting "Nation and Internet" in Kyiv’s outskirts "Pushcha Vodytsya" (June 9-11, 2000).

The third sector was not invited as well as representatives of the press. The participants of the meeting adopted concluding document, which is consisted of 16 articles. The document was prepared by working group formed by 4 representatives of ISPs such as Lucky Net, UkrSat, Adamant, IP Telecom and 4 officials: from State Committee on Communications and Computerization (1) and State Security Service (3). There are several items among the common intentions to "develop Ukrainian sector of Internet" that need to be noticed.

As a result of the discussion the participants of the joint consultation:

11. Consider it’s advisable to establish working group on elaboration of the mechanism of the protection of information, monitoring and filtration of unlawful information.

12. Agree with opportunity to put into practice Lawful monitoring of communication network exclusively on the base of national and international legislation, Council of Europe (?) resolution ENFOPOL 98 in particular.

With regard to the mentioned document the question rises: What are the real intentions of the meeting participants?

The participants of the meeting approved to establish the Association of Internet Market Agents of Ukraine (item 3). Such proposition was sounded not at the open conference of ISPs but at the closed meeting. It is proposed to restore licensing system with content-based license terms (item 5).

I’d suppose the following. The cited items demonstrate the ISPs’ willingness to be subservient to authority. Such willingness has selfish ends. The elite ISPs, which take part in the meeting, would like to get market preference (hors concours).

The official vision of the subject was presented by one of the top officials of the Council of National Security and Defense, Mr. Alexander Dodonov, at the pages of official governmental newspaper "Governmental Courier" (Issue 17 of January 29, 2000):

… There is no analyze mechanism concerning the information circulated in the Internet in the world and this is the very central minus of the network with regard to the security of any nation and whole world community.

… our state must establish limits, as many states do, what should be in the Internet and what is undesirable in it, and defense its own interests by that.

It is real danger that such domestic regulation and "self-regulation" will turn into "privatized censorship". Third sector of Ukraine is obliged to oppose to such intentions. We should say the same words as activists of Global Internet Liberty Campaign:

‘Don't try to censor the Internet because your efforts may well violate international human rights law, especially given the unique nature of the Internet"!


Network monitoring in Ukraine: legal framework

Presidential Order No. 110 of February 11, 1998 empowered Security Service of Ukraine Central Board of Government Communication Service to realize state policy of cryptographic safeguarding of information.

Central Board of Government Communication Service was reorganized into the Department of Special Telecommunication Systems and Information Safeguarding of the Security Service of Ukraine with Presidential Order No. 1299/99 of September 27, 1999.

The Department includes Central Board on the Information Safeguarding and Central Board on Crypt-Safeguarding and Development of Special Telecommunication Systems. The latest runs issues concerning cryptography policy and control.

The Department is given the new jurisdiction and certain autonomy as public body under the Presidential Order No. 582/2000 of April 10, 2000.

The Department is authorized to adopt the regulations on the protection of information in data transmitting networks, as well as to found particularized establishment for the "application of the tools for the protection of state information resources".

Two drafts devoted to the subject are prepared and put forward for the Parliament’s consideration.

The draft On Information Sovereignty and Information Security acknowledges that the general direction of national information policy is

… the protection of the population of Ukraine from information products which threaten physical, intellectual, moral and psychological health (propaganda of brutality, violence, human abhorrence, pornography, worship, unconscious influence incl.)[2.7.]

According to the item 4.19 of the draft:

The owner of the information is accountable for the dissemination of the information prohibited to the dissemination by the statutes of Ukraine as well as for the content of the information in the computers and networks.

The draft "On the Control of Information Security in Networks" runs as following:

Article 9:

The public control of the state of information security in networks is performed with use of the networks monitoring systems …

… All types of techniques necessary for promotion of public control, in accordance with approved by public bodies plans to control the state of information security in networks, are provided at the expenses of operators if another is not provided by legislation.

Article 10 empowered supervisory bodies:

… to monitor networks and monitor information, which is passed, processed, and stored in networks, in accordance with articles 31, 32, and 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, and following rules established by this and other statutes of Ukraine …

As it becomes the "tradition" of national legislators the Acts of the Parliament don’t concretized the mechanism of the rules realization.

The same was with the rules on wiretapping. The Statute on the Operational Investigative Activity of February 18, 1992 does not provide for the wiretapping procedure rules. The subject is regulated by restricted instructions, such as adopted with joint Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Committee on Communications Order No 745/90 of September 30, 1999 On the apportion of the e-communication channels and tools for the performance of general tasks in peace time.

Restricted access to such rules deprives possibility for effective supervision under the activity of law-enforcement agencies and may negatively affect human rights in Ukraine.

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