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10.05.2005

Ukrainian legislation impedes the development of informational society

   

Today the new government of Ukraine, presenting its program, promises to conduct new informational policy guaranteeing the possibility of unhampered realization of the right for freedom of speech and thought, free access to information, right for free circulation and exchange of information and actual guaranteeing of citizens’ right for privacy.

In the light of the declared democratic intentions of the government, employees of enterprises and public organizations of information-communicative sphere actively supported “the national movement for democratic reforms”. Yesterday, at the forum “Informational society of Ukraine”, they presented the report to the President of Ukraine “About immediate measures on the development of informational society in Ukraine”.

In “The declaration of principles of the informational society formation” adopted at the Summit in Geneva the informational society is defined as a society, where everyone can create information and knowledge, have access to them, can use and exchange them, promoting stable development of informational society on the basis of goals and principles of the UNO statute and fully keeping to the General declaration on human rights.

However, in Ukraine there is a range of obstacles on the way of development of the informational society, which, above all, must be a democratic society.

In the opinion of the participants of the forum, imperfection of legal regulation of the informational sphere still remains one of the main problems.

Nowadays considerable part of the subordinate legislation is missing, but its approval is presupposed by the acting legislation. In the opinion of Volodymir Podgarny, a member of the commission for science and technologies of the Ukrainian union of manufacturers and businessmen, this situation hampers enterprises of the informational sphere to work efficiently in accordance with intelligible and transparent rules.

The drafts of the legal acts suggested by the corresponding state bodies are very imperfect, and sometimes their norms even directly contradict the acting legislation.

One of the urgent measures for the development of informational society in Ukraine, in the opinion of the authors of the report, is the necessity of guaranteeing of legal interception of communication sessions and telecommunicational messages, aimed at the efficient struggle against criminality, and, at the same time, the necessity of concordance of the legislation with the European legal norms and prevention of violation of human rights.

As it is known, now two law draft are considered in the Supreme Rada – No. 4042 “On monitoring of telecommunications”, elaborated by the Security Service of Ukraine, and No. 4042-1 “On interception of telecommunications”, elaborated by businessmen and public organizations.

In the text of the report the authors offer to reject law draft No. 4042 since the draft “On interception of telecommunications” has considerable advantages. In particular, it meets the European norms and guarantees citizens’ rights in the process of the telecommunication interception.

Volodymir Podgorny supposes that substantial limitations of citizens’ rights are also contained in the norms of the acting legislation, since it envisages the excessive interference of state bodies in the activity of enterprises of telecommunication sphere. For example, Article 63 of the Law of Ukraine “On telecommunications“ regulates the major requirements to the contract between the provider and customer of telecommunication services by the National commission in charge of telecommunications, although these questions are regulated by the Civil and Economic codes of Ukraine and, in his opinion, don’t need additional definition on the level of subordinate normative-legal acts.

In the opinion of the participants of the forum, the development of informational society in Ukraine is also impeded by the lack of guarantees of human rights and the controlling bodies in the informational sphere. For instance, as early as in 2001 the decision was made about establishment of the Interdepartmental center for struggle against infringements in the sphere of high technologies. As it is known, this center doesn’t exist now.

In November 2001 Ukraine signed the Convention of the European Union “On cybernetic criminality”, but it’s not ratified until now. Amendments to the legislation, in the opinion of Andriy Fialkovsky, a member of the All-Ukrainian public organization “Ukrainian Internet Community”, are introduced only formally and not completely.

“Legal indeterminateness in the sphere of public relations and information-communicative technologies, inconsistency between the Ukrainian normative-legal base and the European legislation results in the system obstacles on the way of development of the informational society. For introduction of principles of legal state into the informational sphere it is necessary to create a number of new drafts, to harmonize the existing laws with the international legislation and, in some cases, to cancel normative-legal acts”, - believes the author of the report.

Olena Holiuk,

RUPOR 

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