tbyfield on Mon, 1 Jun 1998 21:26:38 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Ukraine Nationalizes the Internet

[previously to com-priv@lists.psi.com cryptography@c2.net dcsb@ai.mit.edu.-T]

from: Somebody in Ukraine
subject: Re: english text wanted (fwd)
to: rah@shipwright.com
date: Sun, 31 May 1998 13:34:18 +0000 (GMT)

Hello Robert,

I'd like to inform you about the edict issued my Leonid Kuchma on April 22
to create governmental Internet monopoly in Ukraine.

There was defined 3 government-approved prividers that can link Ukrane
with the world. Please note the call from UA to US is already
3-fold overpriced compared to reverce one. Besides, this edict makes me
a criminal full of govermental secrets that just can't connect to anyone
exept of three dummies approved. Most my friends are now criminals too.

I believe bodies approved have nothing to do with information security.
Infocom means 49% German shares; Ukrkosmos have no network at all and
Ukrtelecom already owns all the wires in Ukraine.

I sure monopoly will be used ho hide what's exactly is going on in
Chernobyl power plant and to be capable to put any ISP stuff to jail
on occasion, for complaining to free world or (most likely) for not
paying tips to local authorities. There will be direct money loss too for
Sprint, Digex, MCI any others already dealing with Ukraine.

I believe this case can not be resolved internally because Internet
have nothing to do with the majority in Ukraine yet.

Please help to stop Big Brither! Alternatively, one can increase
appropriate immigration quotas.

Please take a look at the message from Human Rights leader; re-send
with permission.

Please drop my name because I don't want to be prosecuted for complain.
<somebody's .sig>

Forwarded message:
> To: Somebody
> From: Somebody Else
> Date: Fri, 29 May 98 20:59:14 +0400
> Subject: Re: english text wanted
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> ž×”÷”‰Õ  —”ŸŠÕ,
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> Ą¦‰-«Ÿ‰ ‘”-‰Ž”'”‘”, × Ž”"'‘¦"'Š, × ŠĆ‰Ą'"¦‘‘¦Õ ÷'"‘”Ɖ XYZ. ™”-×Ɖ‘Š‰ -
> ׍÷ŠÕĄŠ ŠŽ "'”'’Š.
> —"‰«¦ —”Õ Ÿ¦¬"¦«¦,
> Ā׫‰‘Š  ™”»”"¦×
> Evhen Zakharov,
> Co-Chairman of Kharkov Group for human rights protection
> In the heading I have slightly distorted the jingle of the
> socialist past (the end was 'he will always live'), because the
> question is really not so simple. Sometimes it seems that the
> country has ended with tyranny, and then our democratic leaders
> remind us that Lenin has not died.  This time to Lenin's birthday
> we have got the following present (the translation is unofficial.-
> E.Z.):
>                                 EDICT
>                      OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE
>    For further ordering the operation of information networks and
> forming conditions that will provide information security of the state
> and control over the development of information networks and data
> transmitting networks in Ukraine, according to Section 1 of Article
> 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I rule the following:
> 1. The State Committee of communications of Ukraine shall procure the
> exit to foreign networks only from the networks of the enterprises
> (operators) 'Ukrtelekom', 'Ukrkosmos', 'Infokom'.
> 2. Ministries, other central and local agencies of the executive power,
> as well as enterprises, offices and organizations that include secret
> regime subunits shall transmit their data only through the enterprises
> (operators) listed in Article 1 of the present Edict.
> The bodies of the local self-administration are recommended to
> transmit their data according to the procedure used by the executive
> power agencies.
> 3. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall suggest for adoption to
> the Supreme Rada the draft of the law 'On controlling security in data
> transmitting networks of Ukraine'.
>   President of Ukraine                       L.Kuchma
>   22 April 1998
> It is clear that the text is obscure, but what can it mean?
> In Article 17, Section 1, of the Constitution of Ukraine treating
> the national security of information exchange the latter is
> declared to be 'the duty of all Ukrainian people'.  It would be
> more reasonable to state that the duty of all Ukrainian people
> should be preventing the government from interference into the
> information exchange under the pretext of providing security. This
> interference has a long history.
> In January 1997 the Supreme Rada adopted 'The Conception of the
> natural security in Ukraine'. Among fundamental principles of the
> security support many good things were listed, such as observance
> of human rights, superiority of law, public oversight over the
> military and other structures in the system of providing the
> natural security. The Law mentioned possible threats to the
> national security caused by insufficient control over information:
> 'information expansion from other countries, leakage of information
> containing state secrets and other secrets mentioned by the
> corresponding law, as well as confidential information owned by the
> state'. It is worth noting that confidential information may be
> owned by natural or juridical persons, but not by the state, which
> follows from the Law 'On Information', Article 30. Among the main
> remedies used for providing the natural security in the information
> sphere the Conception mentions complex measures aimed at protecting
> the Ukrainian information space, at entering the world information
> space and at removal of negative tendencies of violating the
> Ukrainian information space, as well as at the development of
> necessary facilities and modes of operation (reception, storage,
> distribution and use) with socially important information, and at
> the creation of a well-developed infrastructure in the information
> sphere.
> In April 1997 Parliamentary Readings were held devoted to the topic
> 'Freedom of Speech in Ukraine: present state, problems, prospects'.
> The participants remarked: 'Internet may become a threat to state
> secrets and confidential information of citizens, besides, it can
> increase the dependence of the national information space on
> foreign-produced information and alien information policy'.
> In autumn of 1997 some newspaper publications appeared which stated
> that Internet undermines the population morals and state security,
> that pornography is transmitted by electronic channels. The
> articles said nothing about Internet as an information environment
> without which a country regarding itself as civilized cannot exist.
> On February 4, 1998, the Supreme Rada adopted the Law 'On the
> national program of informatization' (the latter word does not
> exist in Western languages since the denotate does not exist;
> such words as 'informatization', 'automatization', 'privatization',
> etc.  denote a fruitless state campaign for implementing the
> corresponding entity.- Translator's note). The Law has two main
> targets; one of them is to provide the national security. This
> function has to be fulfilled by a central state agency appointed by
> the Cabinet of Ministers. On the same day the detailing document
> 'The conception of the national program of informatization' was
> issued. The document affirmed that Ukraine should overcome her
> backwardness in the information exchange by following the state
> policy of informatization.
> A day before the President issued the Edict on creating the
> Commission of information security. Aleksandr Below, General-
> Lieutenant of the Ukrainian Secret Service, was appointeds the
> Head of the Commission. Judging by press comments, he has the
> reputation of an intellectual and serious analyst. In an interview
> the General stated that the Commission would do all possible not
> to harass free access to information, except in cases stipulated by
> law. Aleksandr Matov, the Chairman of the National Agency on
> informatization at the President's Administration, gave a more
> detailed statement: any country must control the valuable
> information outflow, so the measures to be taken have the only
> purpose of 'ordering' network communications, as it is highly
> irregular when  communications within a country are carried via
> foreign servers.  Mr. Matov pointed out that such discipline would
> concern only state agencies. He added that it would be undesirable
> if this campaign would involve Ukrainian providers.
> So, at a first glance, the campaign concerns executive power
> bodies, local administrations and state structures containing
> secret-protecting departments. We hope that the edict of 22
> April will result in the separation of Internet users into nonstate
> and state sectors, with imposing special operating modes on the
> latter only. However, even assuming this optimistic interpretation,
> one is left with many unanswered questions. For example, it is not
> clear what to do with universities and other higher education
> institutions that always had secret-protecting departments
> (notorious 'first departments') and recently acquired equipment
> (usually donated by American or German colleagues or charity funds)
> for the connection with Western servers via a satellite. Obeying
> the Edict will break the signed contracts and agreements. Further,
> the Edict will hamper the financial state of research institutes,
> which will have to pay much more to the Ukrainian servers listed in
> the Edict.  Research workers, for whom the use of Internet is a
> necessity because of the information famine in Ukraine, will suffer
> most and produce less. I am sure that for many of them this
> difficulty will be the last argument for emigration. As one of
> researchers noted bitterly, 'the consequence of enforcing this
> edict will be the fourth wave of emigration of Ukrainian high-tech
> professionals to a country where the authorities will not stand in
> the way of their favorite work. The work that does not bring any
> dividends in our country, the work, to which they devoted all their
> lives'.
> Such fears are not groundless. To be convinced one can read the
> article written in 'Uriadovyi Kuryer' of 12 February by Pavlo
> Mysnik, the Chairman of the State Committee on the protection of
> state secrets and technical protection of information. He writes:
>   'Information in the modern world is valued exceedingly high,
>   since it makes the initial capital that can yield unforeseeable
>   profit in the future. It is painful to watch how the information
>   is spilt, and sometimes the opportunities contained in the
>   information are being lost. In this aspect the drain of
>   scientific information especially troubles me. Research projects
>   and ideas of our scientists are bought for a song by foreign
>   grantors. The total outflow of information is dangerous to our
>   state now and leaves us without future. That is why the
>   administrations of the National Academy of Sciences, ministries
>   and other bodies that control research institutions must be
>   interested whither leaks the information greatly needed by our
>   state.'
> I visualize how the first departments of research institutes will
> try to control Internet communications. The idea of the total
> control nowadays is absurd. Just think of the modern level of data
> protection and a great mass of computers operating round the
> clock! How will Mysnik's subordinates guarantee the technical
> protection, which they develop?  I believe the money they waste
> should be rather invested into producing the scientific information
> and returning long-awaited salaries to researchers!
> In my opinion, the Edict contradicts to the Constitution of Ukraine
> and can be contested in the Constitutional Court, since it violates
> the right to distribute information freely (Article 34). The Edict
> also violates Article 10 of the European Convention on human rights
> which Ukraine is obliged to obey. Besides, the Edict rudely
> violates Article 42 of the Constitution that stipulates the freedom
> of the entrepreneurial activity and forbids monopolies, as well as
> the number of articles of the Law 'On restricting monopolies and
> unfair competition', because the demand to use only the services of
> 'Ukrotelekom', 'Ukrkosmos' and 'Infokom' is a typical 'hard selling
> which puts competitors into a losing position' (Article 4),
> 'ousting from the market or restricting the access to the market
> for purchasers, sellers and other businessmen' (Article 5),
> 'discrimination of businessmen by government bodies and agencies'
> (Article 6). The subterfuge that 'legal statutes of Ukraine may set
> exceptions with respect to Article 6 aimed at guaranteeing the
> national security, defense or public interests' is not applied here,
> since a presidential edict is not a legal statute.
> In fact the Edict provides monopolistic rights to 'Ukrtelekom',
> 'Ukrkosmos' and 'Infokom', although the prices set by these
> companies are shamefully high as they are. I wonder if the Edict
> was agreed with the Antimonopoly Committee. And how will the latter
> react? I am afraid that no reaction will follow since the Edict
> beautifully agrees with the state policy of informatization. Having
> read the 'Conception of the national program of informatization',
> one can easily understand that the Government is convinced that it
> must firmly control the development of the information market. This
> tendency is dangerous and ruinous for the country! On the contrary,
> the information market should be protected from the state. At
> present the development of Internet is braked by the monopoly of
> 'Ukrtelekom', possessing communication channels whose rental
> cost is 6 to 8 times higher than in Czekia or the USA! It should be
> noted that the Edict says nothing about the development of the
> information facilities within the country. Users would welcome
> measures enabling them to communicate without leaving the territory
> of the country.  This is done in Canada where the use of the USA
> networks for inter-country information exchange is prohibited.
> To sum up, the implementation of the Edict will undoubtedly lead to
> many negative consequences and result in a great delay of
> development of the information exchange, which is so important for
> the future of the country. I am afraid that I am right and I would
> be glad to be convinced in the opposite. Alas, drafts of laws,
> edicts and similar legal documents are never publicly discussed,
> the society faces accomplished facts and is appealed to obey the
> newly baked laws. The state ignores the society consciously and
> unconsciously. One would rather expect from the guarantor of the
> Constitution and human rights not prohibitions, but
> prohibitions on the restriction of the access to international
> networks for NGOs and private persons. Alas again! Attempting to
> protect information security, the edict-writers imposed stringent
> restrictions on the access to information. They did not follow the
> principle adopted in civilized societies: 'deregulate as much as
> possible and regulate as little as necessary'.
> Generally speaking, restrictive tendencies are becoming stronger
> and stronger. First departments of research and design institutes
> have galvanized into the long-forgotten activity. The Cabinet of
> Ministers adopted the Conception of technical protection of
> information. A number of new documents have been prepared, in
> particular, amendments and additions to the Law 'On state secrets'
> and the 'Instruction on the procedure of providing regime of secrecy
> in state and local administration bodies, in enterprises,
> establishments and organizations of Ukraine' This instruction has
> been already classified, since, according to its authors, 'this
> instruction completely uncovers methods and forms of protecting
> secret information in our state'. This instruction closely
> follows the corresponding instruction that regulated questions of
> secrecy in the former USSR, many positions are borrowed verbatim.
> Now the draft is approbated in Ministries, agencies and
> organizations which deal with secrets. Another draft of a law is
> prepared, where the administrative responsibility is stipulated for
> abusing the Law on state secrets. All this is done without any
> public discussion: legislative activity in the country is closed
> from intruders.
> Nobody in his right mind ignores the necessity of supporting state
> security. However, it must be provided without abusing human
> rights. Violation or restriction of human rights is admissible only
> when the state has proven that this restriction is stipulated by
> law and is necessary in a democratic society for the protection of
> legal interests of the national security. This is the only
> permissible approach in a democratic country, and to embody it, a
> wide public discussion is needed about aims and means to be taken.
> Is our state capable of such behavior?
> The author is indebted to the professionals who provided him with
> data on the information market in Ukraine.
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