Civil Initiative on Internet Policy (CIPI) Tajikistan
Timur Hasanov from the Information Technology Center of Administration of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan
1. Country/Institution background
Tajikistan is a developing country located in Central Asia. It is presidential/parliament republic. With 93% out of its 143100 km2 covered by chain of high mountains it is bordering with Afghanistan, China, Kygyzstan, and Uzbekistan. It has over 7 million population with over 70% of them living in rural area. Dushanbe city, its capital is situated in 830 meters above from the level of sea. Tajikistani state language is Tajik/Persian. Tajikistani top level domain in Internet is .tj. Over 2500 second level domain names are registered in .tj zone (http://www.nic.tj/) (July 2007). The ccTLD hosting organization Information Technical Centre of the Administration of the President of Tajikistan. About CIPI Tajikistan. Website: http://www.cipi.tj/ The Public Fund Civil Initiative on Policy of Internet (CIPI) is a non-governmental and not-for profit Tajikistani organization. CIPI was established as a separate legal entity in February 2003. CIPI started its activity as the Global Internet Policy Initiative project of Internews Tajikistan(http://www.internetpolicy.int) in September 2001. It is continuing to implement GIPIs goals within its framework in the country. CIPI works to promote information and communication technologies as enablers of socioeconomic development in Tajikistan through building consensus and partnership among lawmakers, decision-makers, representatives of the academic community, civil society and the private sector.
2. ICT development and general status ICT is considered as a tool of development. A principal document identifying ICT StatePolicy of Tajikistan is the State Strategy ICT for Development of the Republic of Tajikistan1 (e-Strategy). The e-Strategy aims promoting wide usage of ICT capacities forall fields of national economy development, which will enhance an effective creation anddevelopment of national information society with its futher integration to the global one.The ICT legislation consists of the following legal and normative acts:
- Constitution of RT
- Law on Electrical Communications
- Law on Informatization
- Law on Information
- Law on Information Protection
- Law on Electronics Document
- State Strategy ICT for Development of RT
- Conception of Information Security
3. Internet industry development and general status
Internet service (email) penetration in Tajikistani society has started since 1995. Public access to online Internet is available since December 1998. There are currently 10 first level Internet service providers (ISP) in Tajikistani Internet market. The main technology of access to global 1 State Strategy ICT for Development of the Republic of Tajikistan, ratified by the Decree #1174 of the President of RT, from November 5, 2003. Internet is VSAT technology. Only 2 out of 10 ISPs have access to TAE2.
4. Previous/current problems in the Internet sector
ccTLD redelegation process Among many obstacles that slowdown penetration of Internet in Tajikistan and development of national Internet content was difficulty in registration of a domain name in .tj zone. The ccTLD of Tajikistan - .tj was registered with IANA on December 11, 1997 by an American ISP. Based on the request of than administrative contact, ICANN suspended registration of new domain names in .tj zone in 1998. Almost 40% out of 1454 of the domain name registered was porno content. Negotiation process on redegelation of this ccTLD between various organizations from Tajikistan and ICANN started since than. The problem found its solution on June 30, 2003 when ICANN redelegated it to a local entity Information Technical Centre of the Administration of the President of Tajikistan. The candidate was selected on the basis of concensus achieved among local Internet stakeholders and communication regulator. It happened thank to joint efforts of the local Internet community and ICANN. Stakeholders jointly with ccTLD manager further developed domain name registration policy that allows any acting ISPs to be a domain registry. Registration has been renewed since January 19, 2004. Currently, 8 out of 10 ISPs in partnership with National Registry have been running domain name registration business. GIPI/CIPI was actively involved in this process fromthe first day of its activity in Tajikistan.
Threat of creating a Unique Communications CentreA draft of the governmental regulation on «Creating unique communications centre and access point to the global information resources» developed by the Ministry of Communications were main issue of all ICT-related discussions in February April 2006. CIPI and the Association of ISPs have jointly organized number of meetings among ISPs and ICT-oriented NGOs. The outcome of these meetings were a series of appeal to various Governmental agencies related to this issue, the President Office inclusive.The Ministry of Justice and the State Agency on antimonopoly policy did not supported the Draft due to its being against of the current ICT legislation. The Ministry of Communications organized a roundtable to convince the ICT stakeholders on the efficiency of this step. But it did not helped. The Government of Tajikistan in accordance with an order of the President of Tajikistan created a working group, including representatives of business sector and civil society (Association of ISPs), to address this challenge. The decision of this group not supporting the Ministry of Communications was submitted to the Government in the end of April 2006. Government rejected the Draft. This idea is still threatening the Internet community in Tajikistan.
5. Policy measures implemented and being implemented, impediments and issues faced
Promoting drafting and adoption of the State Strategy ICT4D of RT (e-Strategy) andestablishment of the ICT Council under the President of Tajikistan. e-Strategy is adopted and ICT Council is established to coordinate its implementation. But the Council is not active.
6. Results (previous/hoped for) of policy interventions
Internet market growth and Internet content development, though slowly.
7. Unintended consequences of policy interventions, good and bad
2 TAE Trans-Asia-Europe Fiber Optic Communications Line project envisions the laying of a 27,000-kilometer global telecommunications cable through 20 countries from Frankfurt to Shanghai Relatively fast penetration of the Internet and other digital technologies in throughout the country. Though it is contributing significantly on society integration and acccess to outside world, but it brings a new challenge growth of the proprietary software piracy level.
8. Unresolved issues; their locus, how might they be addressed
Weak developed content in a national level. This hinders acccess of most part of population rural people to Internet and other ICT benefits. Localization and adaptation of FOSS applications.
9. Insights gained as a result of the experience, concluding thoughts
Addressing issues through emphisizing national interests. Internet and other ICTs offer great potential for development to countries like Tajikistan. Those nations who not only use technologies passively but also endeavour in adapting it to meet their local needs and contribute further in its development by local creativity and productivity are capable to fully benefit from the global information society achievements. To achieve this it is necessary to focus on those technological solutions that promote transparent, fair, competitive, none-discriminatory ICT market with culture of respect to the rules of the international intellectual property law.