Macedonia edges towards on-line censorhip

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Today the Macedonian government's spokesperson announced a new plan to set up a new domestic company which will provide on-line betting / gambling to residents in Macedonia. [Full press release in Macedonian.]

The plan will involve "disabling of betting / gambling on-line games on foreign web sites". The blockade is set to last two years beginning in March 2014.

Citing benefits for "the state and the society" the blocking of the sites will be carried out by the Agency for Electronic Communications and the Ministry for Information Society.

Given the extremely poor record of the Macedonian government on media freedom, and previous unsuccessful attempts to legislate liability for Internet access providers for content published via their services, it's not too difficult to imagine a more broad use of the blocking mechanism once it is set up.

At this point raising concern about the proposed plan for blocking access to site is the least we can do. The communities from the Internet should rally again.