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Aug 14, 2014 4:32 PM CET

New law amendments and reorganization of the Government of Kazakhstan

In spring, the Government of Kazakhstan amended the Law of Communications, specifying and limiting measures such as three hours temporary network shutdowns and blocking access to certain internet webpages. Recently the President also announced a comprehensive reorganization of the Government. We see the reorganization as a step forward in fighting corruption and continuing the development of national communication infrastructure. 

The new reorganization that the President of Kazakhstan announced implies:

• Eradication of Kazakhstan’s Agency of Communication. Instead, the communication authority will be part of a newly formed Ministry of Investment and Development
• Eradication of The Ministry of Emergencies that instead will be part of the Ministry of Interiors
• Eradication of the Financial Police. Its authorities is now part of the Agency of State Service and Prevention of Corruption. This means that the Ministry of Finance will measure financial and economic crimes in the future
• The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor has unified to one Ministry of Health protection and Social development

Amendments of the Law of Communications 

The new amendments that have been introduced means that Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor or his deputies can order temporary suspensions of communications networks, means of communication, provision of communication services, and access to Internet resources and/or information contained therein. 
According to the Government, the reason for the amendment is to prevent threats against the government, individuals and/or the society in Kazakhstan. The prerequisites for when the measures may be applicable are however quite vague and the concrete significance is difficult to assess per now.

The General prosecutor in Kazakhstan have the obligation to monitor activity of the lower level prosecutor and reports to the president, there is currently no authority that monitor decisions made by the General Prosecutor. There is however, legal rights in Kazakhstan to report violation, which both individuals and communication operators can exercise by appealing a decision in court. Tele2 Kazakhstan will as common practice, verify if demands of the General Prosecutor are in line with the legislation and no abuse of legal rights.

We are constantly assessing the regulatory environment and its development. When needed we initiate dialogues with the Authorities, relevant national and international NGOs, The European Union and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more detailed information of ongoing work, feel welcome to contact Marie Baumgarts, Head of Corporate Responsibility.