Declan McCullagh on Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:38:00 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FC: Burma bans political discussions, anonymity, unapproved Web sites

     [orig to <>]

Actually an improvement:


Communications Law in Transition newsletter
Published by the programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy
Wolfson College, Oxford University and Yeshiva University
February 12, 2000

                         UPDATES ON MEDIA LAW REFORMS

    I. Australia: Bill to license foreign broadcasters.


    II. Burma: Regulations for internet users announced.

            Myanmar Post and Telecommunications [MPT] has issued
    regulations for users of its internet service. They are:
      * Any writings detrimental to the interests of the Union of Myanmar
        [Burma] are not to be posted;
      * Any writings directly or indirectly detrimental to the current
        policies and secret security affairs of the Government of the
        Union of Myanmar are not to be posted;
      * Writings related to politics are not to be posted;
      * Only the person who is granted an internet account is to use the
        internet; no other person is allowed to use the internet;
      * The person who is granted an internet account is held responsible
        for all internet use on that account;
      * A person with an internet account is prohibited from hacking the
        web and entering and destroying the security system of MPT;
      * Hacking the web and entering and destroying the security system of
        other internet users is prohibited;
      * Persons who hold an internet account are forbidden to misuse the
        account of other internet users;
      * Internet users are to inform MPT of any threat on the internet;
      * Internet users are to obtain prior permission from the
        organization designated by the state to create web pages;
      * Applicants for an internet account are held accountable for the
        veracity of facts contained in the application form;
      * MPT has the right to amend and change regulations on the use of
        the internet without prior notice;
      * Application can be filed for compensation for any damage or loss;
      * Internet use will be terminated and legal action will be taken for
        violation of any of these regulations.

            [The French news agency AFP on 22nd January cited the
    Paris-based journalists' organization Reporters Sans Frontieres as
    saying that in recent weeks the Burmese authorities had arrested at
    least three people, one of them an army officer, for consulting
    opposition web sites based in foreign countries. The agency noted that
    the new curbs on internet use followed the closure in December of
    Burma's two privately owned internet service providers (ISPs), leaving
    state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications as the sole ISP.] (TV
    Myanmar, Rangoon, 20 January 2000)

    III. Czech Republic agrees changes in TV, radio laws.
            The Czech government approved on Wednesday changes to
    broadcasting laws aiming to bring the country in line with European
    Union standards and strictly defining ownership regulations.
            Culture Minister Pavel Dostal told a news conference that the
    draft amendments conform to the EU's "Television without Borders"
    regulations on content and scheduling and the favouring of
    European-produced programmes. The measures, if approved by parliament,
    would also ban cross-ownership of print, television and radio entities
    and clarify the rights of broadcast licence holders.
            Dostal said the measures, which would take effect on July 1
    with a one-year phase-in period, would allow only licence holders to
    control programming, not operating companies.
            The Czech Republic is facing international arbitration after
    New York cosmetics scion Ronald Lauder said the country failed to
    protect his investment in the most popular Czech commercial station,
    TV Nova, under a U.S.-Czech bilateral treaty.
            The Czech unit of Lauder's Central European Media Enterprises
    (CME) was dropped as operating company for TV Nova when the station's
    licence holder cancelled CME programming in August after a protracted
    management dispute.
            Lauder is demanding $523 million in compensation, claiming
    Czech authorities did not move to block the licence holder CET-21 from
    cutting his company off as exclusive operator of TV Nova, the most
    profitable station in post-Communist Europe.
            The Czech government is fighting the claim.
            A separate Amsterdam-based arbitration court issued a
    preliminary ruling in November in favour of Lauder's company, saying
    CET-21 should restore CME as TV Nova's exclusive service provider, but
    the ruling has been ignored by the Czechs.
            CET-21 head Vladimir Zelezny said the ruling named only him,
    and not CET-21, and was thus groundless.
            A final ruling from the Internation Chamber of Commerce court
    in Amsterdam is expected later this year. (Media Central, 5 January,

    IV. Estonia: Ruling coalition to define tasks of public broadcasters.

            Politicians of Estonia's three-party ruling coalition today
    agreed that the tasks of Eesti Televisioon (Estonian Television,
    [ETV]) and Eesti Raadio (Estonian Radio) need to be outlined more
    precisely. Marju Lauristin, head of the parliamentary Moderates
    faction, said the coalition has a clear vision of public-law
            "The functions of public-law media have to be fixed either by
    law, by contracts, or through the Broadcasting Council," she told BNS.
            The financing of public broadcasting, like a more exact
    definition of the tasks of ETV and ER, is a subject for further
    discussion, Lauristin added.
            The parliamentary Cultural Affairs Commission will soon tackle
    a bill of amendments to the broadcasting law to change the competence
    and makeup of the Broadcasting Council dealing with affairs of the
    national television and radio.
            "The coalition is guided by the principle of balance,"
    Lauristin said. Plans are for the council to be made up of
    representatives of both the ruling alliance and opposition on a basis
    of parity and for independent experts to form the other half of its
    members. Lauristin said the coalition meeting did not consider ETV's
    privatization. The topic has been blown out of proportion in the
    media, she observed. (BNS news agency, Tallinn, 19 January 2000)


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