Deutsche Welle: Belarus actively adopts China's experience in Internet censorship
14:19, — Politics
Access to a number of websites from change.org, a platform to start petitions, to aviasales.ru, a website to search low costs, was restricted for Belarusian Internet users.
Blocked access was first met for change.org, where campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Belarus, to move the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship from Minsk were launched. Now, signatures to release journalist Anton Surapin and estate agent Syarhei Masharymau, both arrested in connection with the teddy bear stunt, are being collected.
Contradictory information then appeared that access to other resources was also limited. In particular, access to the international flight tracking platform flightradar24.com provokes debates among Internet users.
The website shows live air traffic across the world and gives information about types of aircrafts, their tail numbers, origination and destination, altitude and speed.
Flightradar24.com team noticed a 90% decrease in the number visits from Belarus and supposed it might be connected to the teddy bear stunt. It was figured out that access to the website for Belarusians Internet users depends on DNS server IP addresses.
Flightradar24.com was available for visitors from Belarus if they used Google Public DNS, while those using DNS servers provided by Belarusian ISPs could not open the website.
In this regard, experts of providers.by website came to a conclusion that the DNS server giving information on correspondence between a domain name and a website IP address was fully blocked, which made all resources using dnsmadeeasy,com service unavailable.
There are politically harmless resources, such as aviasales.ru, whmcs.com and others, among the blocked websites.
Analysts were not surprised to see this. Internet expert and electby.org coordinator Andrei Khrapavitski said in an interview to DW Belarus already met attempts to block independent information sources, including charter97.org website. Nevertheless, blocking can be bypassed easily.
Other experts suppose these restrictions are a rather effective tool, because many Internet users will not look for ways to bypass blocking.
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