Public relations and information center of the President’s Administration has launched a ‘Hot-line’ service aimed at collecting data on cases of misinformation and falsifications of facts related to Armenia and Armenians from the internet and various other open sources of information. The service will also look for “violations of the right to receive reliable information with the objective of taking action to eradicate such violations”.
“Dissemination of inaccurate, partial, false information and misinformation, formation of negative opinion about Armenia and Armenians seriously damage the international authority of the Republic of Armenia and the information interests of Armenians”, the official statement runs – soliciting calls to [email protected] if met with such information.
This news poses a variety of questions. What is the prime target for the center? Will it be paying more attention to information sources based in Turkey, Azerbaijan? If yes – how does the center plan to counter disinformation disseminated by them – clearly it has neither the authority nor the technical means to counter information disseminated by news outlets like Hurriet or Day.az.
Does this than turn out to become a tool directly primarily at news sources based in Armenia? Can it be considered a disguised form of censorship? What is the legal basis for the ‘action’ to be taken? The Armenian Constitution and media legislation says nothing about the ‘right to receive reliable information’ – who has invented it and for what purpose?
(Thanks to Ogostos’ blog for bringing this to my attention)
The podcast also features an interview with Ani Karamian, the member of Inga&Anush PR team, who operates the official Inga and Anush Arshakian’s blog. The sisters will represent Armenia at Eurovision international music contest in Moscow next week.
Armenia’s richest man – Gagik Tsarukyan bets $1 milion, saying sociologist Aharon Adibekyan won’t be able to prove claims, that Tsarukyan’s “Prosperous Armenia” party has a very low rating.
It all started on the air of Shant TV’s “Herankar” talk-show program. The guest in studio, sociologist Aharon Adibekyan, who has many times been accused by various opposition forces and even coalition parties, for manipulating sociological surveys, in response to program host Nver Mnatsakanian’s question made a statement, that the political rating of “Prosperous Armenia” («Բարգավաճ Հայաստան») party is very low.
Next day on the air of the same program Gagik Tsarukyan, the founder and leader of “Prosperous Armenia”, discounted Adibekian’s claims, saying he’ll bet $1 million (later corrected to 1 million Armenian drams), that Adibekian won’t be able to back his claims with data.
E-channel quotes Adibekian saying he’s sorry that “a political figure of that calibre acts on restaurant mentality.”
“Prosperous Armenia” party has in its turn issued a statement, saying “Sociology is generally a serious science, if serious people practice it.” The party revels, that Aharon Adibekyan has been expecting a “tailored” offer from Gagik Tsarukyan, with data manipulated to the tastes of the “Prosperos Armenia” party. The party statement implies, that seeing he is not getting an offer, Adibekian has come out with statements about the low rating of the party.
“Adibekian has now received an offer [Tsarukian’s bet], so instead of pointless talk he ought to either accept it, or apologise in a due manner for dishonoring a serious science like sociology”, the party’s statement concludes.
PS: In a possibly related development Nver Mnatsakanyan, Shant TV’s leading anchor and political journalist, who initiatited the discussion above, was beaten in Yerevan last night.
“Freedom House” international human right’s organization has released it’s annual report on freedom of press in the world in 2008. The report rates Armenian media ‘not free’ for the 7th consecutive year.
Out of 195 countries and territories surveyed – media were recognized as free in 70 (or 36%), in 61 (or 31%) – partly free and in 64 (or 33%) were rated not free. “Freedom House” notes the overall negative shift in media freedom worldwide. Continue reading “Freedom House: Armenian media rated 'not free' for the 7th consecutive year”
Armenian authorities have unveiled details of the National Concept on Information Security, which would, in theory, enable the National Security Service read all private mail sent and received in Armenia.
I’ve higlighted the paragraph, which caused special concern.
Mediamax — Yerevan, 30 April: The Armenian government approved today a number of legislative amendments, proceeding from the Concept on Information Security that was approved on 26 April.
The head of the Armenian National Security Service (NSS), Gorik Hakobyan, said at today’s session of the government that the NSS would set up a special centre of international computer network, which will ensure the security of accessible information in electronic documents of Armenia’s state agencies.
The head of the NSS said that appropriate equipment for the special centre would be installed in technological areas of internet providers.
Hakobyan said that the special centre would allow to filtrate possible external viruses and prevent attacks on the servers of state agencies
“In a damning indictment of Armenia’s rapprochement with Turkey, opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian accused President Serzh Sarkisian on Friday of scuttling U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide and gaining nothing in return,” RFE/RL reports. Addressing thousands of supporters rallying in Yerevan, Ter-Petrosian charged that Sarkisian’s apparent acceptance of a joint Turkish-Armenian academic study of the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire amounted to “genocide denial.” Continue reading “Controversial Ter-Petrosian criticises Armenia-Turkey 'roadmap'”