Starting January 6th, Belarus, a former Soviet state that became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, will restrict what its citizens can do on the Internet, thanks to new legislation. The new law requires that anyone doing business in the country must utilize fully local Internet domains when carrying out their activities online. Basically, this law criminalizes the use of web sites such as Amazon or Google if they don't have a web site within the country.
The initial decree was issued nearly a year ago (February 2010) by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and requires the registration of all web sites which must then be hosted in the country. Those that do not comply will be fined $125 per incident.
Internet providers such as Internet cafés will be also held responsible for the activity of their customers if they are found to be using foreign sites. The onus will also be on home Internet subscribers who share their connections with others.
It is assumed that providers will have to monitor for foreign website usage and report their findings to authorities. The legislation also requires that the data collected would be handed over to the government.
While Belarus may have declared freedom from the Soviet Union in the 1990's it sure seems like some of its leaders are channeling the communists of the past.