06 Dec

Today in the Clusterf#*k that is Azerbaijani Internet Policy

think of the children

A fun new trend in the constant stream of nonsense that is the Azerbaijani government’s Internet policy. (tl;dr the government is setting up new ways to control the Internet without appearing to control the Internet.)

Keep those Azerbaijani kids off the Interwebz! Now we’re worried about the kids!

Here are some news stories (some copy and pasted from databases)

Azerbaijan promotes distance learning, but children`s Internet access needs control
AzerNEWS ( Azerbaijan ) – Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Author: Nigar Orujova
A new Internet portal for children will be created in Azerbaijan in the coming months to broadcast educational TV programs, the Education Ministry`s ICT Bureau head Samir Mammadov said Tuesday, adding that the ministry has launched the implementation of the Tehsil TV (Educational TV) project.
“The project`s primary goal is to inform Azerbaijani population of the country`s educational programs, pro­jects and overall situation in the Azerbaijani education system, including news and lessons,” Mammadov said. He said the portal will be a platform for all those involved in the process of education — teachers, schoolchildren and their parents.
Under the project, the Education Ministry has ordered recording a number of programs and lessons for the portal, while signing a contract with a studio to record such programs on a regular basis is still ahead.
“The project, implemented in the frame of the state program on the education system`s informatization, will be presented in the near future,” Mammadov added.
The use of the Internet for educational purposes is invaluable, as the Web can easily provide a schoolchild with all the required information. However, schoolchildren` Web usage should be controlled by parents and teachers.
According to the head of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children`s Affairs, Hijran Huseynova, the government should take substantial action to limit the use of the Internet by schoolchildren.
“The use of the Internet in order to improve the education of children is positive, but on the other hand, through the Internet , children have access to unnecessary information,” she commented. “Moreover, this leads to serious problems and causes dangerous results. In this issue, first of all, parents need to be in control. At the same time, a serious approach should be exercised at schools.”
A package of amendments and addenda to the domestic legislation has been drafted to ensure control over children`s use of the Web both at Internet cafes and at home, chief adviser for the State Committee, Parviz Aliyev, said on Monday.
The committee has conducted monitoring in Internet cafes [ed: great!] to examine the situation in this area. The results showed that children were going to “ Internet clubs” during lessons and visit websites with negative impact, Aliyev said.
“The monitoring revealed that sometimes children do not go to school day after day and spend time in Internet cafes,” Aliyev said. “Parents think that children are at school while the school does not inform parents about their children`s absence. Parents [often] are not interested in their children`s school attendance, they do not build relations with the school. The monitoring revealed that 15 schoolchildren were at Internet clubs during lessons.”
Some of the proposals made pertain to age limits for children`s access to Internet cafes, the time spent there and websites they should be allowed to visit.
According to Aliyev, it is also proposed to install cameras in Internet cafes to keep track of visitors during the day. [ed: lovely.]
Fines are envisioned for Internet cafes violating these requirements and parents who do not supervise their children. The Internet cafes ignoring warnings will face administrative penalties and may be closed.
According to Aliyev, the proposals also envision Internet service providers` applying filters for children who use the Internet at home.
Aliyev said the package of proposals has been submitted to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.

Parental and governmental control
AzerNEWS ( Azerbaijan ) – Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A lack of internet skills among parents could harm their children. However, restrictions on Internet use are not the way out. Otherwise, poor knowledge of the Internet may have a negative impact on children`s education and employment opportunities.
Parents should examine their children`s use of the Web to be sure that they use it properly. There are a number of websites with sexually explicit information, which can be detrimental to a child. Moreover, some dangerous and suspicious people who come to chat rooms may be a threat to minors.
Even if parents are Internet -illiterate, there are some tips to protect the child from offensive content on the Internet . Parents should control how much time their children spend on the Internet and enquire what they do online.
Microsoft, the world`s largest software company, is also concerned about Internet safety. In association with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Microsoft has developed age-based guidance for Internet use with family safety settings, which is available on the company`s website.
Notwithstanding modern Internet filters, guidance by parents who know their child and his or her habits best is more helpful to protect children.

Minister: Informatization level of Azerbaijani educational system to be satisfactory
Trend News Agency (Baku, Azerbaijan ) – Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Author: H. Valiyev, Trend News Agency, Baku, Azerbaijan
Nov. 28–Azerbaijani Education Ministry have submitted the next phase of project on informatization of educational system to the government of the country, the Minister of Education Misir Mardanov told reporters on Tuesday.
According to the minister, ratification of the project, implementation of which is envisaged within 7 years, is expected. Work on informatization of educational system, connecting schools to the global network and enhancing the skills of teaching staff in the field of information technology will be continued within the project.
“The current level of educational system’s informatization can be considered as satisfactory, and the level of informatization will grow further with the financing of the field,” he said.
According to Mardanov, today more than half of teaching staff, about 80.000 teachers, have been trained to enhance their skills in information technology. According to these figures, Azerbaijan exceeds average indicators.
As for equipping schools with computer equipment, today one computer falls to the share of 20 students, the minister said.
“Our main goal is not to reduce the number, for the computers, issued to schools, to be used for the intended purpose . Also one of the important aspects is to improve the literacy level of teachers in information technology, as well as increasing the number of schools connected to the Internet ” Mardanov said.

Here’s a link to a similar story in Azerbaijani.

In other Azerbaijani Internet bullshit…

Azerbaijan prepares norms for usage of state language in internet
Azeri-Press News Agency ( Azerbaijan ) – Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The norms for usage of the state language in the internet are being prepared in Azerbaijan , director of Linguistics Institute of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Fakhraddin Veysalli told APA. According to him, for this purpose, a research group has been already established at the Linguistics Institute: “The research group is working on these norms. The norms for usage of the state language in the internet will be created within year and a half or two years. It aims to create common norms, which will be observed by the citizens of the country while using internet .”
Fakhraddin Veysalli said that the norms must be admitted by all members of the society and considered necessary for all. After having been prepared the norms will be discussed at the Presidium of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and submitted to the government of Azerbaijan .
“Despite free internet , the use of language must be controlled. After these rules are confirmed under the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, their use will be controlled. According to the State Program on the development of linguistics, the Monitoring Group, which will be set up at the Linguistics Institute, will exercise control over the issue,” he said.

And we all know how much I love talking about Internet penetration in Azerbaijan. Looks like full Internet penetration (which NO COUNTRY has yet to achieve) will be reached in Azerbaijan in 2015.

It never gets boring.

11 Nov

Azerbaijan enjoys internet freedom, president says

Azerbaijan enjoys internet freedom, president says
BBC Monitoring International Reports – Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Excerpt from report by private Azerbaijani news agency Turan

6 November: President Ilham Aliyev has welcomed the participants in the Seventh Annual Internet Governance Forum under way in Baku [where the statement was apparently read out]. The forum has been organized by the UN and the Azerbaijani government.

[Passage omitted: General comments on the internet contained in Aliyev’s welcoming address]

Aliyev believes that Azerbaijan pays special attention to development of information and communications technologies and the internet . About 65 per cent of the country’s population have internet access, and the country has already started to use the latest technology – 4G.

Aliyev believes that there is internet freedom in Azerbaijan . Thus, online radio and online TV, electronic newspapers and magazines, and foreign and domestic social networking websites are widespread in Azerbaijan . Thousands of bloggers act freely on the internet in Azerbaijan .

In conclusion, Aliyev expresses support for any well-intentioned online activities that aim to build friendly ties between people and nations and to form equal relations based on mutual respect.

[Passage omitted: Turan news agency quotes unnamed international organizations as criticizing the situation with online freedom of expression in Azerbaijan and as saying that despite the lack of a practice of filtering and blocking websites in this country, some online dissidents are still persecuted.]

[BBCM note: On 6 November, APA news agency quoted Azerbaijani Communications and Information Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov as saying in a speech at the forum that there is a need for joint fight to ensure online security and prevent cyber crime. The report also quoted Abbasov as saying that use of social networking websites is widespread in Azerbaijan and these activities are not controlled by any agency. “Online TV, newspapers and websites have been developing in this country in the past few years, and no interference or pressure is applied to their activities.”

In a separate report on 6 November, Turan quoted Ali Hasanov, chief of the public and political department of the Presidential Administration, as telling journalists on the sidelines of the forum that no blogger is persecuted or is in jail in this country. “They [blogggers] can express their thoughts very freely, which is evidence to the freedom of the internet in the country,” he said.]
Original Language: Russian
Section: Azerbaijan , Armenia and Georgia
Original Source: Turan news agency, Baku
Record Number: 14269435839FD370
Sources: Turan news agency, Baku, in Russian 0739 gmt 6 Nov 12; APA news agency, Baku, in Azeri 1018 gmt 6 Nov 12; Turan news agency, Baku, in Russian 0959 gmt 6 Nov 12/

11 Nov

Ali Abbasov: There is need for joint struggle to prevent cyber crime

Azeri-Press News Agency ( Azerbaijan ) – Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Nijat Mustafayev – APA-ECONOMICS. There is need for joint struggle to provide security in internet space and prevent cyber crime, Minister of Communications and IT Ali Abbasov said during his speech at VII Internet Governance Forum in Baku.

The Minister spoke about rapid development of ICT sector in Azerbaijan and noted that the country’s government pays great attention to this sector: ‘At present, 3G service is used in the entire country and application of 4G service has already been started’.

Touching upon special role of private sector in ICT sphere, Abbasov also spoke about the projects, realized in this sphere in Azerbaijan : ‘These projects, as well as the forum will stimulate the region’s development’.

Abbasov noted that currently, Azerbaijani population widely uses social networks and this activity is not controlled by any organization: ‘During the recent years, online TVs, newspapers and websites develop in the country and their activities are out of any interference or pressure’.

01 Oct

Azerbaijani government steps up its digital game

Azeri opposition daily links new internet project to presidential election
BBC Monitoring International Reports – Sunday, September 30, 2012
An influential Azerbaijani opposition newspaper has linked the launch of a new social networking website, www.butalife.com, to the 2013 presidential election.

The owner of the website is Ilham Abduyev, brother-in-law of powerful Azerbaijani Emergencies Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov, the Yeni Musavat newspaper reported on 21 September. Abduyev is also the owner of the azerbaijans.com and qarabag.net websites, which contain information about Azerbaijan and its breakaway region of Nagornyy Karabakh.

Second in Azerbaijan

“The name of Abduyev is rarely in the limelight and he is known as the person leading the emergencies minister’s ‘intellectual team’ and who is mostly engaged in creative activities. However, there is no doubt that the launch in Azerbaijan of an online social network calculated for the international audience could not be implemented without direct approval and financial support of Kamaladdin Heydarov,” the report said.

The newspaper described Heydarov as the second most powerful man in the Azerbaijani politics and said that given the uncertain financial prospects of the project there is likely to be a political aspect to it.

“The social networks are currently an important tool in the politics as well and politicians are using them to mobilize the electorate or organize protests of the disgruntled. Heydarov does not lack political ambitions and his name was often mentioned in the mass media as a contender for the post of prime minister or even president,” Yeni Musavat said.

2013 presidential election

However, the report noted that Heydarov is unlikely to oppose Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and cited an anonymous source in the government as saying that the website will be used in the 2013 presidential election to support the incumbent. “The emergencies minister is thus trying to prove that he is ready to mobilize all his resources for the third presidential term of Aliyev,” Yeni Musavat said.

The newspaper further quoted the source as saying that the Azerbaijani authorities are bringing in online PR campaign specialists from abroad in preparation to use the internet and social networking websites in the forthcoming presidential election campaign.

“The recent instructions by the NAP [New Azerbaijan Party] Political Council for the young members of the ruling party to become members of Facebook and to actively use it as part of this plan,” Yeni Musavat said. The newspaper added that currently the opposition supporters are very active on Facebook and other social networking websites and the authorities are lagging behind.

Abduyev’s remarks

Meanwhile, lent.az news website published on 13 September the text of an address by Ilham Abduyev concerning the launch of Butalife.

The website will be a “window from Azerbaijan on to the world” and the main objective is to “gain an international status and turn into one of the most trusted places in the world for social debate”, Abduyev writes in the address.

He added that the website will also be different from other social network by using online TV and news feeds from the most popular international media, offering blogging microsites and sections for examinations, tests and business.

BBCM note: There are no restrictions on Azerbaijanis using international social media sites such as Facebook , Twitter. According to the socialbakers.com website over 10 per cent of the Azerbaijani population (880,620 people) are Facebook users.

22 Sep

Gender equality in Azerbaijan

Here are the results of analysis about attitudes toward gender issues in Azerbaijan.

The upper left graph about women and work is particularly
interesting. Women and men tend to agree on these items, except that men
are more likely to believe that university education is more important
for a boy than a girl and men think that men make better business

The upper right hand graphic looks at women and jobs and there was
more disagreement. Over half of Azerbaijani women believe that having a
job is the best way for a women to be independent, while only a third of
men do. As for the 29% of men that disagree that having a job is the
best way for a woman to be independent, it would be interesting to know
what they do believe is the best way for independence.

Only a quarter of Azerbaijan women think that it is problematic when a
woman earns more than her husband, but over a third of men believe

And when jobs are scarce, over two-thirds of Azerbaijani men believe
men have more of a right to a job than women, while a little under half
of women feel this way.

The lower right corner graph looks at attitudes about gender roles.
For the most part Azerbaijani men and women were in agreement except
significantly more men think that men should have the final decision
making power in the home. Also, more men believe that gender equality
has been reached in Azerbaijan. Notably, nearly all Azerbaijanis think
that women should be responsible for diapering, bathing, and feeding

Finally, in the lower left is skills that Azerbaijanis were taught as
children or teenagers. Nearly all Azerbaijani women were taught to
prepare food, clean the house and the bathroom, wash clothing, and care
for younger siblings.

There were very strong differences between men and women in nearly all activities except for caring for younger siblings.

Men were also more likely to be taught to grocery shop, drive, and fix home appliances.

Very few Azerbaijan women were taught to drive as teenagers.

Full version here.