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After fleeing the country, they established an open democratic discussion platform at http://www.3dway.org.

, ɔ [Andrei Klimov, political prisoner], Charter 97, August 16, 2007, http://www.charter97.org/r/index.phtmlsid=3&did=aklimov.

15 [The trial of UCP set for August15], UCPB.org, August 10, 2007, http://www.ucpb.org/lang=rus&open=15135.

charter97.org [Criminal case brought against charter97.org website], Electroname, December 8, 2010, http://www.electroname.com/story/9100.

Belarus Arrests, Sentences Journalists in Crackdown, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), December 20, 2011, http://www.cpj.org/2010/12/belarus-arrests-sentences-journalists-in-crackdown.php.

BELARUS FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net Online activists and web-based journalists face extralegal harassment, mostly in the form of phone calls or intimidating messages. However, until 2010, physical attacks were not common. For that reason, the death of the founder of Charter97Aleh Byabenin prompted many questions among his colleagues and fellow journalists. Byabenin was found hanged from a stairway at his summer home in September 2010. Although the authorities declared his death a suicide, most independent sources questioned the official version and suspected foul play.

Technical attacks are becoming increasingly common. For example, a number of opposition and other sites were rendered inaccessible on January 10, 2008, the day of a protest by entrepreneurs, but Beltelecom officials denied involvement.39 In April 2008, several websites run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were attacked for more than two days surrounding the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.40 Most recently, in the wake of the 2010 elections, many pro-opposition sites suffered DDoS attacks. In addition, Belpak was redirecting users who tried to access certain independent media sites to copies of those sites run by pro-government actors. For example, when a user requested to access www.gazetaby.com, the ISP hijacked the request and redirected the user to www.gazetaby.in.41 The mirror sites were almost identical to the original, but in some instances posted incorrect information, such as the location of an opposition gathering in efforts to mislead those planning to attend.

In light of the governments widespread use of technical attacks during elections, it is important to note that Belarusian criminal law actually prohibits such activity. Specifically, Article 351 of the criminal code, covering computer sabotage, stipulates that the premeditated destruction, blocking, or disabling of computer information, programs, or equipment is punishable by fines, professional sanctions, and up to five years in prison.According to Ministry of Internal Affairs data, there was a 33 percent growth in cybercrime in 2009 compared with 2008.43 The government has stated its intention to accede to the Council of Europes Convention on Cybercrime, but it has made no moves to accede to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

Mikhail Doroshevich, Cybercrime in Belarus in the Beginning of 2008, E-Belarus.org, January 11, 2008, http://www.ebelarus.org/news/200801111.html.

Hampton Stephens, Belarusian Cyber Attack, World Politics Review, April 28, 2008, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/2012/belarusian-cyber-attack.

Hal Roberts, Independent Media Sites in Belarus Reportedly Hijacked During Election, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, December 19, 2010, http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/hroberts/2010/12/19/independent-media-sites-in-belarusreportedly-hijacked-during-election/.

: , [Beltelecom: independent websites could be blocked by other organizations], Charter 97, January 10, 2008, http://www.charter97.org/ru/news/2008/1/10/2905/.

[The growth of cybercrime in Belarus], It.tut.by, January 25, 2010, http://it.tut.by/news/91330.html.

BELARUS FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net BRAZIL 2009 POPULATION: 193.3 million INTERNET FREEDOM Free Free INTERNET PENETRATION 2009: 39 percent STATUS WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS BLOCKED: No Obstacles to Access 9 SUBSTANTIAL POLITICAL CENSORSHIP: No Limits on Content 8 BLOGGERS/ONLINE USERS ARRESTED: No Violations of User Rights 13 PRESS FREEDOM STATUS: Partly Free Total 30 INTRODUCTION For a country with large social and economic disparities, Brazil has made significant gains in expanding internet access and mobile-phone usage in recent years. As of 2009, it was home to the largest population of internet users in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world.The country first connected to the internet in 1990, and connectivity is now available in most areas through a variety of technologies, though some infrastructural limitations remain.2 Several legal and judicial actions threatened free online expression in 2009 and 2010. There is an ongoing trend in which private litigants and official bodies sue internetservice providers (ISPs) and other internet companies, such as Google, and send take-down notices to blogging and social-networking platforms, such as Orkut. However, pending legislation would formalize an appeals process for such actions.

In recent years, civic participation through internet media has increased, including in response to the proposed Civil Rights Framework for the Internet in Brazil.3 Moreover, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ICT Statistics 2009Internet, http://www.itu.int/ITUD/icteye/Reporting/ShowReportFrame.aspxReportName=/WTI/InformationTechnologyPublic&ReportFormat=HTML4.0& RP_intYear=2009&RP_intLanguageID=1&RP_bitLiveData=False.

Robert Hobbes Zakon, Hobbes Internet Timeline v8.2, Zakon Group LLC, http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/, accessed August 11, 2010; Tadao Takahashi, ed., Sociedade da Informao no Brasil: Livro Verde [Information Society in Brazil: Green Book] (Brasilia: Ministry of Science and Technology, September 2000), http://www.mct.gov.br/index.php/content/view/18878.html; National Education and Research Network (RNP), Mapa do Backbone [Map of Backbone], http://www.rnp.br/backbone/index.php, accessed August 11, 2010.

Maira Magro, Cries of Censorship Lead Brazil to Alter Internet Bill, Journalism in the Americas (blog), May 4, 2010, http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/q=en/node/7104.

BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net restrictions on political campaigning via social-networking websites that were imposed ahead of the 2008 elections were removed for the run-up to the 2010 polls.

OBSTACLES TO ACCESS According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Brazil had over 75 million internet users as of 2009, accounting for 37 percent of the population.4 However, penetration varies greatly among regions due to a lack of infrastructure that affects large segments of the population in rural areas.5 For instance, while the household penetration rate is 31.5 percent in the southeast, it is only 10.6 percent in the north. In addition, the cost of broadband access is prohibitively expensive for many Brazilians, amounting to about 5 percent of per capita income.6 Broadband access is increasing as prices fall, reaching percent of the population in 2009,7 but the market is still concentrated among major telecommunications and cable companies.8 In addition, Brazil is currently the largest mobile-phone market in Latin America, and penetration is rapidly increasing. Statistics show an average annual increase of 18 percent in the rate of mobile-phone use over the last five years, with approximately 197 million mobile phones in use by November 2010.Great improvements have been made in recent years as the government has initiated dozens of programs to connect the population to the internet, including investment in WiMax networks, Digital Cities projects,10 and a series of regional projects focused on media literacy and digital inclusion.11 Many of these programs employ broadband International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ICT Statistics 2009Internet, http://www.itu.int/ITUD/icteye/Reporting/ShowReportFrame.aspxReportName=/WTI/InformationTechnologyPublic&ReportFormat=HTML4.0& RP_intYear=2009&RP_intLanguageID=1&RP_bitLiveData=False.

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Sntese de Indicadores 2008 [Synthesis of 2008 Indicators 2008], http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2008/default.shtm, accessed June 5, 2010.

Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), Comunicados do Ipea No. 46: Anlise e recomendaes para as polticas pblicas de massificao de acesso internet em banda larga [Ipea Communiqu No. 46: Analysis and Recommendations for Public Policy on Expansion of Access to Broadband Internet] (Brasilia: Ipea, April 2010), p. 3 and http://agencia.ipea.gov.br/images/stories/PDFs/100426_comunicadodoipea_n_46.pdf.

Ministry of Communications, Um Plano Nacional para Banda Larga: O Brasil em AltaVelocidade [A National Plan for Broadband:

Brazil in High Speed] (Brasilia: Ministry of Communications, 2010), http://www.mc.gov.br/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/obrasil-em-alta-velocidade1.pdf; International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICT Statistics 2009Internet, http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ICTEYE/Indicators/Indicators.aspx.

Teleco, Seo: Banda LargaMarket Share de Banda Larga no Brasil [Section: BroadbandMarket Share of Broadband in Brazil], http://www.teleco.com.br/blarga.asp, accessed August 11, 2010.

Teleco, Seo: Telefonia CelularEstatsticas de Celulares no Brasil [Section: Cellular TelephonyStatistics of Cellular Telephones in Brazil], December 29, 2010, http://www.teleco.com.br/ncel.asp.

Redline Communications Inc., Neovia and Redline Initiate US$30 Million WiMAX Network in Brazil, WiMAX Industry, August 2, 2007, http://www.wimax-industry.com/pr/7p.htm; for a list of Digital Cities, see Teleco, Seo: Banda Larga Cidades Digitais no Brasil [Section: BroadbandDigital Cities in Brazil], July 28, 2008, http://www.teleco.com.br/cidadesdigitais.asp.

For a complete list, see Brazilian Institute of Science and Technology (IBICT), Iniciativas no Brasil [Initiatives in Brazil], http://inclusao.ibict.br/index.php/iniciativas-no-brasil.

BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net technology, and in 2010 the government launched the National Broadband Plan, which aims to triple broadband access by 2014.12 Internet access has also been boosted by a proliferation of privately owned LAN (local area network) houses, in which small entrepreneurs have purchased multiple computers via a government loan program, then offered access at reasonable prices for users. In many regions, these sites have become the primary means of internet access. Research published by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee in showed that nearly 80 percent of the people from the lowest income brackets who access the internet do so via commercial venues such as LAN houses, a dramatic increase from 48.08 percent in 2006.Some states and cities have approved laws establishing limits on youths use of public computers in LAN houses. In So Paulo state, minors under the age of 16 can only use LAN houses with the written authorization of their parents, while in the city of Ilha Solteira, a court order prohibited teenagers from visiting LAN houses.14 As Brazilians at all socioeconomic levels use the internet,15 a growing number have taken advantage of the countrys e-commerce, e-government, and online-banking services, which are among the most developed in the world.16 Unlike in previous years, there were no instances during 2009 or early 2010 of advanced web applications like the video-sharing site YouTube or the social-networking platform Orkut being completely blocked by court orders, though individual videos or comments have been removed.

Despite an intricate regulatory environment, no specific legal or economic obstacles restrict the operation of ISPs or other businesses providing access to digital technologies.

However, privatization plans implemented in the 1990s have created a trend toward concentration in the telecommunications market, and in the ISP market specifically. While more than 1,000 ISPs now operate in the country,17 the four largest companiesBrasil Ministry of Communications, Um Plano Nacional para Banda Larga.

Center of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies (CETIC), TIC Domiclos e Usurios 2008Total Brasil [Statistics on Home Internet Access and Users 2008Total Brazil], September/November 2008, http://www.cetic.br/usuarios/tic/2008-total-brasil/rel-int-04.htm; CETIC, TIC Domiclios e Usurios 2006 [Statistics on Home Internet Access and Users 2006], July/August 2006, http://www.cetic.br/usuarios/tic/2006/rel-int-04.htm; Paula Ges, Brazil: Socio-Digital Inclusion Through the Lan House Revolution, Global Voices, September 28, 2009, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/09/28/brazil-socio-digital-inclusion-through-the-lan-house-revolution/; Colin Brayton, Brazil: Tupis Are In The LAN House, The New Market Machines (blog), March 16, 2008, http://cbrayton.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/brazil-tupis-are-in-the-lan-house/.

Felipe Zmoginski, Justia probe menor de ir LAN House em SP [Justice Prohibits Minor from Going to LAN House in So Paulo], INFO Online, April 27, 2009, http://info.abril.com.br/noticias/tecnologia-pessoal/justica-proibe-menor-de-ir-a-lanhouse-em-sp-27042009-39.shl.

Marcelo Ballv, In Brazil, Internet Access Grows Rapidly, Even Among Poor, World Politics Review, April 3, 2008, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspxid=1891.

BrazilInternet and Broadband Market, Research and Markets, December 2008, http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.aspreport_id=680153.

Teleco, Seo: Banda LargaProvedores de Acesso Internet Outros Provedores [Section: BroadbandInternet Access Providers Other ISPs], May 14, 2010, http://www.teleco.com.br/blarga_pprov.asp.

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