Well, that at least is one of the results of changes to Uzbekistan’s media law. The law now defines websites as mass media, requiring registration with the state and provision of all content and the names of those involved in creating content for sites.
According to IWPR, since the law went into effect on January 15, Uzbekistan’s internet service providers have started blocking more sites discussing Uzbekistan. So far, it does not appear that Registan.net is one of them (knock on wood).
One thing that is rather unfortunate about the law from the perspective of trying to encourage blogging in Central Asia is that it apparently defines all websites as mass media in Uzbekistan. In Kazakhstan, the media law leaves blogs in a gray area (though not entirely free from government meddling). During last September’s roundtable on blogging in Almaty, many participants were extremely hung up on finding the line dividing blogs and mass media and on placing obligations on bloggers.
Now, no one should boldly strike out with the intention of flouting the law. One should be aware of how the law in one’s jurisdiction deals with blogging. But at the same time, blogging is at least partially a reaction to the staleness of mass media. And unfortunately Uzbekistan has put into law the requirement that its internet space share the shortcomings of its print and broadcast media while also making sure that reluctance to blog will grow.