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PROBLEMATIC REGULATORY ASPECTS OF INFORMATION FLOWS IN THE VIRTUAL INTERNET ENVIRONMENT AND THE TENDENCIES OF ITS DEVELOPMENT

The essence of a problem. The phrase “who owns information owns the world” became not only prophetic, but defined external and internal policy of states in the world in the field of information flows regulation, circulating in all spheres of society.

 

A person, who owns reliable information, has much more advantageous to make the right and independent decisions, which go against to the policy pursued by the ruling elites of States. Exactly this fact makes official control over the regulation of information flows an important priority for any country that wants to keep its information sovereignty [1]. Taking into account this fact, there is a need for interpretation of such questions: — what kind of information may be interesting or a being a threat to the state — which organizations involved in the management of information flows — in which countries emerged negative trend of manipulation in the field of information — what is the real situation in the information sphere of Ukraine;

In this article, the author tries to provide answers to those questions based on the information provided in the public resources.

An analysis of recent research and publications in which a solution of the problem had begun. Modern global realities cause the growth of strong demand to the authentic information in the various fields. According to experts researches, 95% of such information can be obtained from public sources, located in the Internet [2].

Despite this fact, the prohibitions on the dissemination of information through a virtual environment of the Internet exist in many states of the Eurasian continent. They deal with many areas of society. These prohibitions can be divided into household, corporate and political.

 

Domestic bans are usually set up by citizens in order to protect inner circle (usually children) from resources of following subjects: 1. Sites that distribute viruses 2. Advertising and banners 3. Rude, obscene, indecent, 4. Aggression, racism, terrorism, 5. Proxy and anonymizer 6. Adult Sites, 7. Alcohol and tobacco; 8. Casinos, lotteries, sweepstakes, 9. Phishing and Fraud 10. Torrents and P2P — network 11. Pornography and sex; 12. Troops and weapons; 13. Extremism; 14. Parked domains; 15. Drugs.

To solve this problem, there is a specialized software that allows to regulate the flow of information. The most famous of them are Child Web Guardian softwear; — Software Net Kids.

The special features of software Child Web Guardian are flexible adjustment under a user's what online resources are objectionable content and must be blocked [3]. The concept embedded in the software Net Kids is aimed to monitor the actions of the kid in the network with the possibility of blocking unwanted Internet resources [4].

 

Corporate bans are the prerogative of the employer. They set the rules and block access based on its security requirements as the network infrastructure and the fence of its staff from the desired information at least during working hours. Among such restrictions, generally refers blocking access to social networks [5], the file —sharing networks, the torrent trackers and mail services [6]. These types of bans should be the basis of political policy in the regulation of information flows.

A large number of contradictions that arise in this area have a direct influence on the world view of the general population of individual, states and international community as a whole.

The purpose of the article

To analyze the problem of regulating the flow of information on the example of policies held by different countries in this area and identify the underlying trends in the global practice.

The main material

To overlook in details trends and actions of the governments of different countries in matters of restrictions and bans on the dissemination the information through the Internet and try to assess their legitimacy from the point of view of international law.

Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was signed by almost all countries of the world, every person has the right to freely express and disseminate his opinion orally, in writing or in print [7]. This right is also mentioned in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and in the constitutions of many countries, including Ukraine [8].

If freedom of speech is expressed in the freedom of the mass media, so there is a restriction of their activities. Under international law, restrictions on freedom of expression must strictly comply with the legal framework of the state. Laws imposing restrictions on freedom of speech, should be unambiguous and not to give an opportunity for different interpretations.

Also on the legislative level should be fixed: the protection of reputation, dignity, national security, public order, copyright, health and morals. Thus, if the State imposes similar restrictions in order to ensure their safety, it is consistent with international law.

In the sphere of monitoring and controlling the flow of information in the Internet, there are ways to:

1. Influencing the hosted content sources (media companies, bloggers, owners of information resources);

2. To exercise full control over the placement of information in the Internet — selective filtering of content or complete blocking of Internet resources;

3. Keeping track of all the traffic of the last user and then filter it according to the requirements in terms of security.

The People's Republic of China (PRC), uses two second methods. The first document, officially proclaimed the beginning of the regulation of information flow on the Internet, are considered "Rules of regulation to ensure the safety of computer and information systems" from 1994 and "Interim Measures for managing international connections of information computer networks" of 1996.

According to the documents, in China, established some of the most stringent conditions to filter content on the Internet. The PRC government's limited access to foreign Internet resources and put very strict conditions on access for foreigners. Web pages are filtered by keywords, defined by the state security service, as well as the "black list" of domain names.

In China, works so — called "Great Chinese Firewall" that blocks the IP — addresses of Internet Resources 'questionable content'. The government has entrusted the duties of providers to block unwanted sites (for example, a news site BBC). Foreign search engines operating in China, including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, were in a desperate situation, so agreed as required to filter the search results. Online Resources is hosted domain space or China must be registered with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which allows to identify the author of the hosted content. July 1, 2009 the Chinese government planned to introduce a law that all computers produced for China's population, will be installed on Green Dam, designed to block unwanted Internet content. Initially, the program will be deactivated and if desired, the user can turn on its own [9].

Russian Federation firmly responds to the spreading of harmful content in the Internet. Public services regularly require their service providers to block access to the You Tube video sharing and blogging site LiveJournal for sharing extremist materials [10].

Let’s examine the processes that characterize the regulation of the information flows in European countries, such as Great Britain, Germany and France.

In Great Britain, after the September 11, 2011 filtering of Internet resources became the National High—Tech Crime Unit prerogative. The department collects data and then profiles the Internet users [11].

In Germany the government agencies are paying close attention to the problem of ethnic intolerance. Thereby the question of extending through the Internet of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic material is the subject to strict filtering. To do this, a special government organization was set up to do monitoring and blocking of such Internet (online) — resources without limiting the freedom of information exchanging [12].

In France the task of controlling the websites content is extremely simplified. On March 19, 2000 the Senate signed the bill that requires service providers to disclose the information about the sites authors on the official request of the corresponding services. On March 22, 2000 the National Assembly of France voted in favor of the law draft on compulsory registration of websites owners posted on the country’s web — hosting. From now on, all owners of internet — recourses posted on the French servers are required to submit their personal information to the providers before the internet resource is published on the Internet. For providing incomplete or incorrect information the owners of Internet resources and services providers may face imprisonment for six months. This remedy eliminates the anonymity and introduces a regime of self — censorship at the provider’s level.

At the end of 2003, according the results of the first meeting of inter — ministerial racism and anti-Semitism control committee, the French government decided on the de facto introduction of censorship in the media. The French government charged (entrusted) the CSA of the country start tracking racist and anti-Semitic remarks on a radio and television programs as well as online and printed media [13].

Conclusions and further (future) prospects of research in this direction

Comparing the situation at this stage in different countries, we can proudly adduce such data from the last report of Freedom House 'Freedom Network, 2012. The Global assessment of the Internet and digital media'. It is determined in the report how actively the government of this or that country uses the set of tools to control the information flows on the Internet. First of all we are speaking about blocking and filtering the online recourses content. The legalization of such acts is regularly reinforced by the adoption of vague laws that prohibit harmful (according to the public authorities point of view) content and active manipulation on the information space, physical attacks against journalists and bloggers and the other Internet users and politically motivated surveillance. According to the results and these tactics level of usage the countries were divided into free, partly free and not free ones. Ukraine is among free countries along with Georgia, Argentina, Italy, Hungary, Germany and the USA. Among the most of the countries of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine received the best ratings as to the level of freedom in the Internet — media, but at the same time (along with Belarus, Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela) joined the group of the countries where the structures close to the government have been manipulating in the information space [14].

Based on the above information, it can be concluded that in the majority of the countries the government is active to control and regulate the information flows. Thus, whatever the level of declared freedom of speech is, considered trends exist and are being introduced to the legislative frameworks of the states. In these processes, of course, there are positive and negative sides.

As to the information sphere in Ukraine, it can be definitely concluded that the distribution of harmful content from the viewpoint of the state and its ruling elite interests preservation in the Internet virtual environment doesn’t meet the proper resistance from the state [15].

It must always be remembered that the state control and regulation of the information’s flows can not be interpreted by the society as an instrument of information domination, but as the establishment of the information censorship.

RESOURCES:

1.    Information sovereignty of the state and modern reality. – [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.zadereyko.info/vliyanie_interneta_na_cheloveka/informacionnuy_suverenitet.htm. — The name of the screen.

2.    It makes no sense to spy — 95% of the information available on the internet. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.rbcdaily.ru/world/562949985512696. — The name of the screen.

3.    Free internets filter ChildWebGuardian. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://childwebguardian.ru/lite/. — The name of the screen.

4.    NetKids — a service that allows parents to control the use of the Internet by children. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://netkidscontrol.ru/about. — The name of the screen.

5.    A third of companies in Russia bans go into social networks in the workplace. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.itsec.ru/newstext.php?news_id=92181. — The name of the screen.

6.    Corporate prohibitions. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.profmedia.by/pub/kadrovik/art/detail.php?ID=71001. — The name of the screen.

7.    The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.un.org/ru/documents/decl_conv/conventions/pactpol.shtml. — The name of the screen.

8.    The European Convention on Human Rights. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_RUS.pdf. — The name of the screen.

9.    Internet censorship in China. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.memoid.ru/node/Internetcenzura_v_PRC. — The name of the screen.

10. Censorship of the Internet in Russia came to a new level. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://inotv.rt.com/2013—03—13/Reporteri—bez—granic—Cenzura—v. — The name of the screen.

11. The National High — Tech Crime Unit. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://computer.yourdictionary.com/national—high—tech—crime—unit. — The name of the screen.

12. Germany: in the twilight of dawn dawning Internet censorship. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://ru.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/08/13/17625/. — The name of the screen.

13. Internet Censorship in France. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://internetcensorshipinfrance.weebly.com/. — The name of the screen.

14. New Report: Governments Grow Increasingly Repressive Online, Activists Fight Back. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/new—report—governments—grow—increasingly—repressive—online—activists—fight—back. — The name of the screen.

15. United States recognized Ukraine greatest violator of intellectual property rights. — [Electronic resource]. — Mode of access: http://www.rbc.ua/rus/top/society/ssha—priznali—ukrainu—naibolshim—narushitelem—intellektualnyh—02052013100300. — The name of the screen.

Source: Authors publication

Published: 24.10.2013