Rada's National Security Committee greenlights website blocking bill

18:30, 04 July 2018
Politics
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Photo by Chesno civic movement, Facebook

The Ukrainian Parliament's Committee on National Security recommends that the deputies pass in the first reading the notorious Bill No. 6688 on amending certain legislative acts on countering national security threats in the information sphere, widely criticized by journalists and Ukrainian netizens in general.

The corresponding decision was made at today's Committee hearing, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

The Criminal Code of Ukraine is proposed to be supplemented by the new section, "Measures on blocking information resources (services) in information and telecommunications networks (systems)."

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The draft law notes that the blocking of an information resource (service) is the cessation of the access of an unlimited range of consumers of telecommunications services to a certain (identified) information resource (service) in information and telecommunication networks (systems) through which information is disseminated that is prohibited in Ukraine.

The basis for the blocking of a certain information resource (service) and removing information from it shall be the court warrant in case of dissemination through such resource (service) of information used to commit grave or particularly grave crimes.

Besides, the blocking of a certain information resource shall be applied by the court in the order established by the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine.

It is proposed to lay down in the Criminal Procedure Code, a provision that a temporary blocking (restriction) of access to a certain (identified) information resource (service) shall be applied with the aim of halting an ongoing criminal offense or preventing the commission of another crime.

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Temporary blocking (restriction) of access to a certain (identified) information resource (service) in information and telecommunication networks (systems) shall be applied: during the pre-trial investigation by the investigating judge at the investigator's request, coordinated with the prosecutor, or at the prosecutor's request, as well as during the trial – by the court at the prosecutor's request.

In exceptional emergency cases related to saving people's lives and preventing the commission of a grave or particularly grave crime, a temporary blocking (restriction) of access to a certain (identified) information resource (service) can be initiated before the warrant is handed down by the investigating judge or the court at the prosecutor's request or by order of the investigator, agreed by the prosecutor, and shall be applied for a period under 48 hours.

In this case, the prosecutor and the investigator, upon agreement with the prosecutor, must immediately apply to the investigating judge or the court promptly after commencing such actions.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, Bill No. 6688 was put on the agenda of the parliament session in July 2017, but then the deputies failed to collect enough votes. On June 21, 2018, Bill No. 6688 was successfully included in the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada for consideration at the current session.

Discussing Bill No. 6688 on June 25, representatives of Ukraine's internet community said that the adoption of such a law would entail a number of negative consequences that would significantly affect the level of online freedoms and would also form the basis for monopolizing the market for providing access to the World Wide Web.

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