Blogs on mail.ru – popular Russian information, entertainment and mail portal – have become the second victim of blockage campaign in Kazakhstan after LiveJournal. Access via national telecom operator is denied only to blogs, all other services of the portal work fine. Access to the blogs section is possible via anonymizers.
Livejournal (Kazakhtelecom has never admitted filtering of this website) is widely believed to be a victim of political battles between the authorities and Rakhat Aliev, a runaway former presidential son-in-law and media tycoon, sentenced to 40 years in prison for kidnapping and preparation of a coup. The man has a couple of blogs on Livejournal.
But the reasons for filtering blogs.mail.ru is much harder to be perceived. They ususally have low-profile content and are assigned to every owner of a mailbox automatically. There is no dissent, and – as believed – there was no Aliev's blog there. Why it was necessary to block it then? Is it a policy of protectionism in favor of the much more obedient domestic blog platforms? Nobody knows.
Interestingly, on the first day of the blockage of blogs.mail.ru somebody tried to register an account rakhataliev on the Kazakhstani blog platform called yvision.kz. In an hour or two, the account was deleted. Although, hardly it was Aliev himself or his confidants.
“This is the right way, comrades!!!”, megakhuimyak quotes Vladimir Lenin [ru]:
“Paranoia of the Agency for Informatization and Commiunication will lead to enormous popularity of Mr Aliev – and to enormous shame on the country and its leadership. The whole staff of the Agency should be resigned forever. When the country has such “friends”, it doesn't even need any enemies”.
Eev has a bitter irony in her anxiety that soon Internet might be issued on points – like sugar during perestroika. Cyber-gorynych has a said joke that if the tendency persists, it would be possible to access only information about weather from Kazakhstan: “You enter open the online search engine, send your request and the returned result suggests: “Sorry, nothing has been found. Did you mean weather?” [ru].
Programmila also draws parallels with Livejournal [ru]:
The picture is the same… It stinks like idiotism. Seriously, when people debate the issues of idiocy and Agency for Informatization and Communication, I don't even argue… I now think about installing a tiny DNS server at home…
It is indicative that in the case of Livejournal the whole portal was blocked, not a separate “problematic” URL. This time, the censors managed to filter only blogs.mail.ru. According to the experts, it is because the filtering in Kazkahstan is excercised in a very unsophisticated way – by the server's IP number. The portal of mail.ru has several channels and physical machines – blogs are powered by a separate server.
Also posted on Neweurasia