In the early 2000s, one would not associate high-tech with the country of Kazakhstan. Internet penetration was around 3.3% in 2005 and Kazakh authorities generally ignored websites and other social networks.
The market for media was liberalised during the first decade of 2000 changed the way media was viewed. New media usage led to an increase in that number of Internet companies and boosted the growth of e-commerce. The government, led by the presidency of Nursutan Nazarbayev who had been in charge since the collapse of Soviet Union. Began to consider that the internet as a potential new route to economic growth and its faith in the digital age was growing.
In 2013, the number that used the internet had risen to 54. The percentage of internet users had risen to 54 percent. The change in the Kazakh government’s relationship with internet in the same time is a illustrative. Example of how digitalisation at the national level can be a way to bring governments closer. To their citizens and also threaten dictatorships that are not democratic.
The Internet And Authoritarianism Country
Autoritarian governments typically increase their power by infiltrating people through state-sponsored propaganda. However, in the age of the internet traditional printing press and the organising of state-sponsored. Sporting and cultural events are no longer efficient in controlling the public’s opinions.
Alternative sources of information on the internet have created a sense country of cynicism among. The public and distrust of the state-controlled central government and media outlets. The days are long gone in which information was the sole source of information. For state-controlled media, and it could influence public moods.
Over the last 10 years, the number of people who utilize the internet to learn. And for informational purposes has dramatically increased. Kazakh internet users are no longer relying on the national news media for information about. The current political situation as well as hearing and reading reports online from foreign sources.
They are often in conflict with national news sources. For instance, government sources say that there were 16 killed in the 2011 oil-workers strike within Zhanaozen city, while certain international media outlets put the number of the number of casualties as the number of 73. Another issue that was controversial was Kazakh government’s secret negotiations with China. Kazakh government’s secret talks to the Chinese government on leases of land.
Then, around late 2000, the Kazakhstani state was online. The stale and unattractive country websites for state institutions have been given a facelift. Mayors and ministers of local governments follow the lead of the Prime Minister Massimov and began writing blogs (his personal blog that he which was launched at the end of 2005 has since gone). The goal was to alter the public’s perception of the government as an excessively bureaucratic, unreliable and ineffective institution.
In his address to the nation , President Nazarbayev called for a deeper integration of information technologies. This resulted in a centralise platform for public services. In 2012 Kazakhstan was rank second (along alongside Singapore) in an overall rating on citizen’s e-participation denoting ease access to the services offered by public authorities.
However, this was before the Ukrainian Orange Revolution of 2005 and 2012-2011 Arab Spring protests, signal the post-communist regimes to consider social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter cautiously. It was also evident that social networks, when they was obvious that they could be a powerful instrument to mobilize discontent and to organize protests that aim to overthrow dictatorships.
In the fear of the possibility that Color Revolution could inspire civil protests at home The president of the neighboring Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov was the first Central Asian leader to ban social media from the beginning of the year 2010. In Kazakhstan however, authorities were confident of the fact that Color Revolution virus would never make it to its borders.
They were not. In the nine-month period of protests of oil workers at Zhanaozen city, protesters used Facebook along with Twitter, to mobilize resources, gain the support of the masses, call out international organizations and governments and criticize Kazakh leadership.
Special Police Forces
The protests were brutally crush with the help of special police forces during December of 2011. The Zhanaozen massacre led to the government restricting freedom of expression and increasing control over the online public space.
In tightening the legislation on media and criminal code to combat frivolous social media, the Kazakh government cleared the internet of any opposition and removed anti-regime or anti-government views. This year’s Communications Law stipulates that the prosecutor’s office has the power to stop any communication domain without a court order in the event that the domain is threatening the national interest, encourages radicalism, or calls for unlawful gatherings.
Since then, authorities have consistently shut down popular websites (Twitter, Skype, Youtube, Instagram, WhatsApp) as well as national mobile networks. On May 21 of 2016 nationwide protests against land reform in particular, the public had difficulty accessing the most popular social media platforms as well as Google. However, none of the the government or major telecommunications firms like Beeline, Kcell and Kazakhtelecom linked internet disruptions to protests, they simply pointed out technical issues.
The internet was monopolis by the state. This was in conjunction with increasing participation by the government with social networks. Some state and political bodies have gone beyond simple blog maintenance to create accounts on the most popular social media. The #Almaty city administration established Instagram along with Twitter account in the month of September of 2015 in an attempt to improve the process of feedback to residents.
In addition, through the president’s AkOrdaPress Facebook account, any citizen of Kazakhstan can send an open letter to the president. These examples of government participation in social media were highly regard by the public.