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<nettime> Tmhwk censorship!
Slobodan Markovic on Thu, 13 May 1999 23:07:50 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Tmhwk censorship!



    Loral Orion Communications informed yesterday (12th of May 1999)
    a director of Yugoslav ISP "Informatika" (infosky.net), Slobodan
    Sreckovic, that "they will be forced to shut satellite feed to
    Yugoslav Internet providers".

    "This decision is a result of Executive Order signed by president
    Bill Clinton, which forbids providing of services to Federal
    Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)"

    IMO, I think that they are referring to section 2, paragraph (c)
    of EO 13121, signed on 5th of May 1999, which follows:

    "(c) any transaction or dealing by a United States person, wherever
    located, in goods, software, technology (including technical data),
    OR SERVICES, regardless of country of origin, for exportation,
    reexportation, sale, or supply to, or exportation from or by, the
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) or the
    Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and
    Montenegro), the Government of the Republic of Serbia, or the
    Government of the Republic of Montenegro. This prohibition includes,
    without limitation, purchase, sale, transport, swap, or brokerage
    transactions in such items, and approving, financing, insuring,
    facilitating, or guaranteeing any such transactions."

    The information about closing the Internet satellite feed to
    Yugoslavia is confirmed also by the official representative of
    Loral Orion company in Yugoslavia.

    At the moment of writing (19:45 CET, 13th of May 1999) it seems
    that all satellite links are still working, but I think it's only
    a matter of hour or minute when a break will occur.

    I would like to stress that Loral Orion's links are not the only
    connections for Yugoslav ISP's, but some of them (like infosky.net
    and bits.net in Serbia and cg.yu in Montenegro) are totally
    dependant from Loral Orion's satellite feed.

    This is also not the first threat to Yugoslav Internet links and
    Internet community. I will shortly summarise what happened in the
    past two months since this war started:

    - Together with Radio B-92, their Internet division (opennet.org)
      also went down. All of Opennet's classrooms and New Media Labs
      (like cybeRex) are closed. All of their Internet projects (aimed
      to education about Internet issues and development of Yugoslav
      cyberspace) are put on hold or completely cancelled.
    - When NATO destroyed the second bridge in Novi Sad one fiber-optic
      cable carrying Internet traffic was broken.
    - When NATO hit one building in Belgrade downtown a great deal of
      computer equipment, belonging to BITS ISP, was totally destroyed.
    - NATO is targeting Post offices in many large cities. Three days
      ago more than 18.000 people lost their phone connections in city
      of Uzice (similar thing happened in city of Pristina).
    - NATO is using graphite bombs to COMPLETELY disable major Serbian
      power plants. During five days, more than half of population in
      Serbia (approx. 5 million of people) did not have electric power.

    This attempt of shutting down Internet satellite feeds to Yugoslavia
    is a good reminder that Cyberspace is not situated in some kind of
    a vacuum and that our REAL governments CAN and WILL do anything that
    suits their interests. Just like corporate invertebrates, they will
    do all of that regardless of our communication customs and ethics
    we developed over years on the Net.

    I'm calling all the people who still believe in freedom of expression
    on the Net, to rise their voice against the policy of hate, policy
    of isolation and policy of intolerance.

    All the best from Belgrade,

            Slobodan Markovic   | http://solair.eunet.yu/~twiddle
            Internodium Project | http://www.internodium.org.yu

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