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Kazakhstan: Security Services Get Sweeping Communications Blocking Powers

Authorities in Kazakhstan are stepping up efforts to tighten control on information by granting the security services power to sever internet and phone connections without having to apply for a court order.

Independent newspaper Ak-Zhaiyk reported on January 20 that the authority to disconnect telecommunications has been granted to the National Security Committee, or KNB, at all levels, down to local branches.

The stated aim of the measure is to combat terrorism.

As lawyer Jokhar Utebekov has noted on his Facebook account, the fact that the KNB will be able to act directly in blocking websites, disconnecting mobile phone links, disabling messenger apps or suspending internet connections without having to go through service providers would appear to indicate that it already possesses the technical means to do so.

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Kazakhstan: Security Services Get Sweeping Communications Blocking Powers

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