Monday, April 04, 2005

Bulgaria: Mandatory Identification Web Accounts

In Bulgaria the "Intellectual Property, Trademark, Computer Crimes and Gambling" department of the Ministry of the Interior wants to make an end to anonymous web hosting of accounts that are larger than 100 MB, apparently to fight organized crime. The department has requested all hosting providers to provide 100+ MB accounts only after identification, and to close down all anonymous free 100+ MB accounts until their operators have identified themselves.

As Heise reports [German], the providers are also asked to remove hate speech, (child) pornographic content, gambling sites and other material from their servers that is not in line with Bulgarian law. Providers have pointed to the impossibility to comply in the set time frame, and the legal (privacy) issues to tackle. It is yet unclear what the precise consequences will be for providers if they do not comply with the request. Pending talks with the Ministry of the Interior, providers have taken down their internal search engines, often used by customers to track down (and presumably infringe on) copyrighted material. The chill of excessive and vague regulation has set in and the privatization of policing powers through internet nodes continues.

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