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Kazakhstan ramps up control of the internet ahead of elections

In Kazakhstan, authorities have created and deployed a new online security initiative which may be an attempt to increase government control over the internet ahead of the parliamentary elections that are set to occur in January. On Monday, the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace announced that they were attempting to combat cyberattacks within the country through the implementation of the Cybersecurity Nur Sultan-2020. In Kazakhstan, online breach attempts have nearly tripled in 2020.

The new initiative consists of increased use of certificate authority and allows the government to control what sites are allowed access to this feature. The government essentially controls what services an internet user can access. The certificates can also direct users to other websites or record information exchanged between them and their web history. Although they are paraded as combatting man in the middle cyberattacks and heighten security, critics say that the new laws are merely a facade for controlling what content users access.

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OODA Analyst

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