The 14th edition of Belarus Internet Watch, bi-weekly news from Belarus, dedicated to digitization, Internet and digital repression development.
1. E-Government in Belarus:
Belarus is actively developing e-government infrastructure with 307 electronic services available.
A mobile app prototype for digital ID cards is in the works.
The Minsk City Executive Committee has initiated the digital transformation of six key administrative procedures.
Projects to provide broadband internet to rural areas by 2025 are in motion, emphasizing on 4G and future 5G technologies.
2. “New Belarus” Digital State:
Increasing talks on establishing "New Belarus" as an online nation with digital IDs.
There are plans to hold electronic elections and transition from traditional passports.
3. Cybersecurity and Data Protection:
Belarus' Ministry of Internal Affairs to allocate over 2 million rubles to boost information security.
OAC released a new order to bolster national cybersecurity, focusing on incident response, certification, and infrastructural safeguards. Several data breaches were reported, including data leaks from digital tech salons and door manufacturer “Yurkas”.
4. Digital Communication:
Viber's user base in Belarus surged to 86%.
Telegram now shares encrypted phone numbers with advertisers.
5. Digital Economy:
The digital Belarusian ruble is introduced to function parallelly with cash and non-cash rubles.
A service for overseas Belarusians to manage local bills and fines is planned.
Suspicion arises regarding Belarusian EU-registered firms bypassing computer deliveries to Belarus.
6. Media and Perception:
Trust in state media peaks at 36% in 2023, while trust in independent Belarusian media dips to 30%.
ATN YouTube channel records a significant increase in subscribers.
7. Repression and Censorship:
Several Telegram channels and media entities labeled as extremist.
Reports of individuals detained for online comments, reposts, and varying opinions.
A major Belarusian literature library was blocked locally but remains accessible internationally.
8. World News:
The Facemoji report highlights the shift in emoji popularity from laughing to crying face in 2023.
Read the full version of the Belarus Internet Watch here.