Armenia plans measures to beef up cyber security

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

Source: Ahousekeeper, via Internet_am.

Beeline on the ground, underground and even 3G!

It seems the days, when I would remember Armentel (now rebranded as Beeline), only with curses and complaints are over. As a very mobile person (many think – too much), I carry two mobile phones with me at all times – this is a reminder of not-so-distant past, when Armentel mobile connection was so bad, that I had to buy a ‘backup’ Viva mobile phone, to make sure I have a working mobile at all times, but also had to keep the Armentel one, because that was the contact number printed on my business-cards, published booklettes and various other promotional materials I had at that point. Continue reading “Beeline on the ground, underground and even 3G!”

Sad statistics of Armenia's internet penetration

According to the latest data on the Armenian Statistical Service website, the population of Armenia is estimated at 3,230,300 people, although the CIA World Factbook states 2,968,586 (July 2008 est.), and the dramatic difference of 261,714 people is huge for a small country like Armenia. At any rate, considering the Armenian Statistical Service to be more up to date, I just came accross this interesting table about internet penitration in Armenia.

YEAR

Users

Population

% Pen.

GDP p.c.*

Usage Source

2000

30,000

3,002,594

0.1 %

US$ 410

ITU

2001

40,000

3,000,164

0.5 %

US$ 500

ITU

2006

161,000

2,950,060

5.5 %

US$ 1,060

ITU

2007

172,800

2,950,060

5.9 %

US$ 1,060

ITU

Naturally, if the population of Armenia is 3,230,300, and not 2,950,060, the percentage of internet penitration would make 5.3 % (not 5.9%). This is a rather sad statistics for a country, which declares IT sector as a priority. For comparison, internet penetration in Azerbaijan is 12.3%, in Georgia – 7.1%, Turkey – 22.5%, Iran – 27.5%. The proud “Silicon Valley” of USSR, that Armenia once boasted to be, is seriously lagging behind, even in the larger world scale, as can be seen from the data by Internet World Stats :World total population = 6,676,12,288, Internet total population = 1,407,724,920. Conclusion – 21.1% of global population is ONLINE!

President's press secretary says media restrictions will be lifted, justifies state censorship

In the course of the briefing that took place today, the RA President’s Press Secretary Victor Soghomonyan has stated, that the restrictions imposed on the Armenian mass media introduced by Presidential decree as part of the limitations under a declared state of emergency, are temporary in nature, and in a couple of days such restrictions will be lifted.
President’s press secretary also spoke of the modification of media restrictions by Presidential decree on March 13th, after which a number of independent and pro-opposition newspapers attempted to publish, but were again faced with illegal preemptive censorship by state security officers, and in sign of protest refused to publish their issues prepared for March 14th. Victor Soghomonyan attempted to justify the anti-consitutional steps of the authorities, noting, that on the issues prepared for publication on March 13th, “Zhamanak-Yerevan” carried an article, claiming, that the authorities are concealing dozens of death casualties of March 1 events and that the authorities had planted provocateurs among the protesters; “Haik” newspaper had alleged, that the detainees are being beaten by police, and that there are political prisoners in the country. “Isn’t this provocation?” Presidential press secretary has asked. Moreover, according to Mr. Soghomonyan, the fact that the “Haykakan Zhamanak” had prepared for publication an interview with its editor-in-chief Nikol Pashinyan, who is officially wanted by the authorities, “is simply not-acceptable”.
After all the brilliant blunter stated above, Victor Soghomonyan has gone even further and remarked that “it is technically impossible” to block websites on the web, referring to “rumors among the public”, according to which after the introduction of the state of emergency certain Internet-publications have been blocked by the authorities.

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