Kyrgyz Secret Police to Monitor Web

Bits, bytes, and cyberspace
How secure is the Kyrgyz cyberspace? Photo: University of Maryland Press Releases/flickr.

Observers have questioned the need for Kyrgyzstan’s security service to monitor websites to identify hate speech.

The State Committee for National Security, or GKNB, is setting up a system to monitor the internet, with a particular focus on news sites with the .kg domain name, and plans to launch it in early autumn.

Using a web search engine that looks for certain words or phrases, the agency will seek to identify content liable to incite hatred on grounds of ethnicity, religion and even regional origin, in the wake of the ethnic violence that rocked southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010.

After the Storm: ISN Resources on Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, peaceful after popular unrest toppled the government of President Bakiev, photo: Michael Reuter/flickr

“The chaos provides a unique opportunity for the superpower trio to cooperate” writes Dr John CK Daly in a commentary for ISN Security Watch, referring to China, Russia and the US, which all have their stakes in Kyrgyzstan. Domestically, the self-proclaimed interim government lead by Roza Otunbayeva and its successors are likely to face a revolution in 2015 again, unless they meet the people’s demands for justice and fiscal relief, predicts Dr Daly.

With the Institute for Public Policy (IPP) and the Social Research Center (SRC), the ISN has two partner organizations based in Bishkek that focus their research on Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Further ISN partners covering the region include Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and EurasiaNet.

The ISN also supports the Russian and Eurasian Security Network (RES), a global initiative by leading academic institutes, think tanks, NGOs and media organizations. RES provides the framework for studies of security-related developments in Russia and the states of the Eurasian region, including Kyrgyzstan.

Finally, our Digital Library offers hundreds of publications, news articles, weblinks and primary resources on the country. Now it’s up to you to get informed.