ONI Releases Belarus Internet Watch Report

Indirect methods to disrupt Internet access to opposition websites during elections may be the way of the future in democratically-challenged countries. Today the Open Net Initiative releases its first Internet Watch Report the Internet and Elections: The 2006 Presidential Election in Belarus. The report presents the findings of ONIs effort to monitor the Internet during Belarus recent presidential elections. Amidst fears that the authoritarian regime of President Aleksandr Lukashenka was going to close down Belarus political cyberspace during the elections, ONI testing found little evidence of systematic and comprehensive filtering, despite earlier ONI investigations that established the regimes capability to do so. ONI monitoring during the elections showed that, on average, opposition and independent media websites remained accessible throughout the monitoring period. ONI testing revealed a number of serious irregularities that disrupted access to certain opposition and independent media websites at strategic moments during and after the vote.

To read the report, click here.