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The Belarusian parliament will consider the amendments to the Law on Media in its spring session, Belarus' Deputy Information Minister Pavel Lyogky told the media on 13 April, BelTA has learned.
Pavel Lyogky said that streamlining of mass media activities on the internet is the main novelty of the bill widely discussed in the journalistic environment. The Law on Media introduces a number of new terms, including “online publications” and “internet resources”. Online publications will refer to internet resources registered with the Information Ministry. Pavel Lyogky stressed that it will be voluntary. “Nobody obliges internet resources that produce and distribute content to become online resources,” he said. But in this case, those, who prefer to work as before, will not be able to be accredited for official events.
The Information Ministry suggests extending the current registration procedure to internet resources. “We want everyone to work in equal conditions,” Pavel Lyogky said. Meanwhile, a lot of internet resources work as traditional media and, at the same time, do not bear the same responsibility.
The draft law envisages a number of other important novelties. Information propagating or encouraging suicide is banned. A big part of novelties have been developed to protect children against the negative influence of the internet and illegal dissemination of their personal data. There are also plans to introduce the identification of internet resource users. This will protect the owners of online publications from being held accountable for libel or other illegal information posted on their pages. In addition, the document takes into account the requirements to equate employees of such resources to journalists of traditional media.