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Kazakhstan's information security is feeble: expert

25 november 2014, 15:27
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Political analyst Dosym Satpayev. Photo courtesy of Kazakhstan Press-club
Political analyst Dosym Satpayev. Photo courtesy of Kazakhstan Press-club

Information security in Kazakhstan is not properly ensured and no one is taking care of it on the state level – this is the opinion of political scientist Dosym Satpayev, Tengrinews reports from the VII Mediakurultai 2014.

Mediakurultai 2014 ("kurultai" translates as “assembly” or "gathering" from Kazakh) was held in Almaty on November 14. The event brought together leading representatives of the country's media to discuss trends in global media and advertising with information security being at the heart of the agenda.

Director of Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev painted an uninviting picture of information security in Kazakhstan. In particular, he said that the Kazakhstan laws “On National Security” and “On the Concept of Information Security” were ineffective.

He also said that there was a single most important question to answer: “Who is responsible for information security of Kazakhstan?” This, he said, was an especially pressing topic given the ongoing situation in Ukraine, which showed that “information influence of a neighboring country, a powerful propaganda work can influence the stability in a country”.

The conflict in Ukraine also showed that with a society already divided it is not hard to split it even further, Satpayev said. He called it ideological separatism and said that its features were traceable in Kazakhstan, where people were strongly divided on all important issues (situation in Ukraine, Eurasian Economic Union, state language) and bearing open the fact that Kazakhstani society had not become mobilized around any core ideas for more than 20 years of independence.

"In my memory, only two officials talked about the fact that half of Kazakhstanis were under the influence of the Russian media. At the same time very few experts remember that there are at least two documents [laws] in Kazakhstan [on the topic]. The law stipulates all of it: that there is a threat to the information security and what needs to be done about it. But no one in the country is ensuring information security at the state level,” Satpayev said.

“State structures must fight against all forms of information blockade that might appear around Kazakhstan. (…) The problem is that the laws are adopted but they are ineffective. And this is actually a serious problem. It is also unclear which body is responsible for the information security of the country," he said.

The analyst added that the law "On the Concept of Information Security " must be reviewed by the authorities together with media representatives and other experts. It is necessary to designate a state body responsible for developing information security policies and raising competitiveness of domestic TV channels and radio stations. In addition, Satpayev says, it was crucial to provide public access to domestic content by developing the national satellite network.

"The problem is serious, and the state agencies have to do a better job informing the citizens about what is happening in the country. This should be done on a regular basis. Akims (mayors) should have a clear grasp of what’s going on in Kazakhstan. Because what we have is that no one does anything before it gets too late,” he said adding that "rumours are the key players at Kazakhstan's media market now".

Reporting by Roza Yessenkulova and Dinmukhammed Kalikulov, writing by Dinara Urazova


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