Appeal of public organizations and Internet-editions about the draft of the Law of Ukraine “On the activities in the sphere of informatization”


01 July 2003. The Institute of mass information and a number of public organizations and Internet-editions made public their appeal about the draft of the Law of Ukraine “On the activities in the sphere of informatization”, which had been registered in the Supreme Rada. “In fact, the norms of the draft are directed at the increase of the influence on the national component of the Internet, local networks and all other objects of modern automatized informational technologies, including the personal data carriers. The analysis of the draft give the reasons to state that its realization will result in the total control over the “objects of the sphere of informatization” (first of all, over the national component of the Internet) on the side of law-enforcing and other state organs”, the appeal reads.

Institute of mass information, «Barometr svobody slova», July 2003

Internet mass media, as well as other informational computer networks, became rather customary element of our life and occupied the proper place in the sphere of gathering and distribution of the information. Although there are several operating laws, which regulate and control this sphere, they are, to put it mildly, imperfect. That is why the law draft “On the activities in the sphere of informatization” was developed. However, in spite of all positive motives, this draft evoked the categorical protest of the Ukrainian Internet-community.

It should be noted that this document does not regulate the relations in the sphere of mass media activities. Maybe, this very fact became the main reason of the aversion to the draft, because most of the Internet-resources represent mass media. Yet, according to the draft, they will turn from mass media and journalists into simple information providers.

Sergey Morgulin, a co-founder of the Internet-newspaper “UAToday”, points out: “If the law would be adopted, then the Internet-editions would become the objects of informatization, which would be controlled. And the journalists would turn into informants and lose their social role”. Under such conditions the work of the Internet-newspapers will become very difficult, and, maybe, they will even have to leave the market. Our country “will lose its Internet-resources cultivated in the infertile Ukrainian legislative soil”.

All in all, the majority of the representatives of the Internet-community reckon that this draft was created mainly for the suppression of Internet mass media in Ukraine in the interests of the authorities. Explaining this opinion, Oleksandr Paliy, a representative of the Public council in charge of the question of the freedom of speech and information, refers to one of the provisions of the draft: it is possible to apply sanctions against mass media, if they “spread the information, which can inflict damage to honor, dignity and business reputation of some persons or meddle into personal life of citizens”. So, the main goal of the draft is the restriction of the freedom of speech in the Internet-editions. O. Paliy points out that the Ukrainian power made the Internet-editions very popular “driving” there the freedom of speech from TV and printed mass media, and now the power tries to restrict this freedom.

(«Yuridichny visnyk Ukrainy», No. 28, 12-18 July 2003)

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