CLAIM MOTION against the Ministry of Communications

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NO licensing for the ISPs in Bulgaria!

Internet Society - Bulgaria
November 18, 1999
Press Release

As of today, Internet Service Providers in Bulgaria are not anymore subject to licensing!

The Internet Society - Bulgaria has filed in January 1999 a case against the Bulgarian Committee for post and telecommunications (Ministry of telecommunications), and today the case was closed because the Chairman of the committee decided to move the ISPs from the licensing, to the Free (Non-licensed) Services section of his ordinance 09-235/98.

Thus, an 11-month effort was put to an end and the Internet Society - Bulgaria has proven to be a real organisation that protects freedom of access to Information.

Winning the case is a good example of the fact that citizen society can achieve their requests by normal civilised means. It also proves that state administration, when under pressure can change their opinion in the proper way.

Of significant importance was the recommendation of the Bulgarian prime minister Ivan Kostov, who advised the Committee for post and telecommunications to start out of court negotiations with the Internet Society of Bulgaria.

We'd like to thank specially to Vint Cerf, Don Heath, the other Internet Society chapters from all over the world that have supported us in writing. Special thanks to the German chancellor Shroeder, who publicly said during his visit in Sofia that licensing of ISPs has neither political, not economic ground. We are also greatful to all the hundreds of Bulgarians who supported us.

We'd like also to thank the Bulgarian Association for Information Technologies, who took a decision 2 weeks ago to join us in the case, and to the Bulgarian Internet Association, who decided yesterday to do the same.

Our success wouldn't have been possible without the help of thousands of Internauts, who kept on sending e-mails to the President, the Prime minister, and to the newspapers. More than 250 publications were published, tens of tv and radio shows were broadcasted.

What will ISOC-Bulgaria do from now on:

We have initiated the preparation of a national registry of ISPs, we are participating in the editing of Moral code of the ISPs, and as soon as the new changes in the Bulgarian Telecommunications Act is in the Parliament, we'll have a special statement about it.
We also keep on working on the Internet Fiesta 2000 in Bulgaria (March 17-19, 2000)

HOT NEWS from Nov. 9, 1999

Bulgarian prime minister says Internet licensing is no good for Bulgaria

Governmental Information Service:

The [Bulgarian] prime minister Ivan Kostov recommended to the Committee for post and telecommunications [Ministry of telecommunications] to start negotiations with Internet Society - Bulgaria to find an alternative dispute resolution, out of court, "pro" or "contra" the licensing of Internet

According to the prime minister it's not possible to tell the world we fight against the visa restrictions, and at the same time in Bulgaria to restrict one, eventhough virtual, possibility to connect young Bulgarians to the world.

"The problem which will determine the future of the information society in Bulgaria for the next decades must be solved with consensus", says the prime minister Ivan Kostov.