A prominent Britain-based anticensorship group says its research indicates the authoritarian government in Belarus plans even tighter restrictions on citizens' access to the Internet.
In a new report
, the Index on Censorship says Belarus has "one of the most hostile media environments in the world and one of the worst records on freedom of expression."
It says new digital technologies have provided new opportunities for freedom of expression but have also given the authorities new tools to silence free voices and track down dissent.
The report says the authorities are applying a repressive legal framework and using new techniques such as online surveillance, website blocking, and cyberattacks against independent websites.
New legislation gives the Belarusian authorities wide powers to censor online content and to implement mass surveillance of citizens' online activities, the report concludes.