Internet censorship in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstani authorities have recently begun
practicing internet censorship, according to an announcement by the
analytic-informational center "Eurasia" on November 6, 1999. ( There
is no relations with The Eurasia Foundation or with The Eurasia
Beginning on November 4, it has been impossible to
connect to the opposition-sponsored website "Eurasia" (http://www.eurasia.org.ru)
within Kazakhstan. This website features material on events in
Kazakhstan, and offers a critical perspective on its government and
During à telephone interview conducted by Internews
Kazakhstan, technicians for the internet provider firm Nursat said
that access to the "Eurasia" website is and will be impossible for
the foreseeable future, for "technical reasons". They also said that
the same "reasons" exist for all of Kazakhstan's internet providers.
Employees of Nursat refused to be more specific about the technical
problems, saying that only the director of the company could respond
in detail. A request to speak with the management of the company was
met with the response that they were at present unavailable.
In a telephone interview, an employee of the
Committee for National Security (KNB) who is responsible for mass
media said that prior to the interview he had not heard of problems
connecting to that website.
However, for several days access to the opposition
site on the territory of Kazakhstan has been closed.
In September Rakhat Aliev, the husband of Dariga
Nazarbaeva, the president's daughter, was appointed chief of the
Almaty KNB. Since the beginning of 1997 Rakhat Aliev and Dariga
Nazarbaev have played a highly visible role within Kazakhstan's mass
media market, running or controlling numerous prominent private
newspapers and television and radio stations. Thus on the eve of the
presidential and parliamentary elections in 1999 the most important
mass media in Kazakhstan were under the control of the government.
The bias and dependence of Kazakhstani mass media were noted by OSCE
observers during the last elections. It is interesting, that
according to the news agency Interfax on November 4, President
Nazarbaev sharply criticized the OSCE, saying that Kazakhstan might
leave that organization. "The leader of Kazakhstan stated, that
today he was 'not interested' in what others 'said somewhere across
the ocean' about Kazakhstan. 'I am interested in Kazakhstan and the
order of its people.'"
Director Internews Kazakhstan