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Опасен ли е Законът за електронното управление за сигурността на държавата?

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on January 14, 2016

Изявление на УС на “Интернет общество – България” относно появили се критики по адрес на ЗЕУ

Текстът на законопроекта е публично достъпен в сайта на Народното събрание.

Днес се появиха “сензационни” съобщения, че два от текстовете на законопроекта били много опасни за сигурността на държавата:

„Чл. 58а, ал. 1, т. 1 …. когато предметът на поръчката включва разработване на компютърни програми, те трябва да отговарят на критериите за софтуер с отворен код.“
и:
„§ 38., т. 30. „Софтуер с отворен код“ е компютърна програма, чийто изходен програмен код е публично достъпен за безплатно ползване.“

Според неназовани анонимни компютърни специалисти, които уж били “загрижени за писането на опасен закон“, “изискването софтуерът в областта на електронното управление да е с отворен код и публично достъпен е абсурдно от гледна точка на сигурността.

Opensource

Лого на Инициативата за отворен код. Източник: Уикимедия

“Интернет общество – България” от над 15 години популяризира използването на софтуер с отворен код в държавната администрация. Благодарение на Програмата за развитие на ООН, ние реализирахме проект за електронни общини в Югоизточна Европа през 2003 -2005 г. в Кърджали и др. общини в страната и региона.

УС категорично заявява, че тревогите, изразени от анонимните “специалисти” не отговарят нито на реалността, нито на тенденциите в развитието на информационните технологии и програмното обезпечаване на всички нива – държавна администрация, частен бизнес, крайни потребители и т.н.

Някои медии у нас спекулират, че ако изходният програмен код е публично известен, то информационните системи ще бъдат “изключително уязвими за хакерски атаки или пък за шпионаж.

Всъщност истината е точно обратната. Общество.бг е развенчало някои от митовете, а ето и допълнението от нас:

  • Явно анонимните “специалисти” не са запознати с факта, че изходният код дори на програмите на “Майкрософт” е отдавна достъпен, при това не само за държавните администрации. Това не го прави по-опасен, а напротив – повишава сигурността му.
  • Използването на софтуер с отворен код прави държавната администрация независима от бизнеса или от прищевките на производителите на софтуер. Всеки производител, който пуска нова версия на своя софтуер, може (и често го прави!) да реши да преустанови поддръжката на старата версия, която е винаги много скъп процес. И дори софтуерът да е много популярен, в един момент става неизгодно да бъде поддържан –  справка: Windows XP или Internet Explorer.
  • Обратното – опитът да се премахне изискването за използване на софтуер с отворен код дава съмнения за неясни зависимости и корупционни практики, с които България стана известна по времето на управлението на Симеон Сакскобургготски.
  • Софтуерът с отворен код може да се коригира при забелязани грешки – при това дори от самия потребител. Корекцията може да се осъществи веднага, за разлика от софтуера със затворен код, който разчита на реакцията на производителя, ако такава изобщо последва. Известно е, че големите компании обикновено актуализират своя софтуер един път месечно или дори по-рядко.
  • Както знаем от последните години, в софтуера със затворен код често има “вратички” (било нарочно или случайно), през които се дава възможност за контрол на трафика и информацията. Чрез използването на софтуер с отворен код, съществуването на тайни  “вратички” за достъп е невъзможно. Т.е. софтуерът с отворен код повишава нивото на сигурност на държавната администрация, а не го намалява.

 

Надяваме се, че народните представители няма да отстъпят под натиска на неясни за обществото интереси и ще приемат текстовете, които отговарят на членството на България в Европейския съюз. Припомняме, че ние настояваме за подобно развитие от десетилетия и е радостно, че най-накрая държавната администрация е предложила такова решение.

Заключението ни е, че ЗЕУ и текстовете за софтуера с отворен код не са опасни за сигурността на държавата, а напротив – повишават я, като осигуряват прозрачност на използваните технологии и дават възможност за бързото коригиране на грешки.

За повече информация, можете да се свържете с “Интернет общество – България” на адрес isoc-bul@isoc.bg.

Posted in Data Retention, Новини на български | Leave a Comment »

Usage, Perception, and Motivation of Cyrillic vs. Latin (Romanized) Script in Bulgarian Online Communication

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on January 3, 2016

We are publishing, with the kind permission of the author, Alexander Kanov, his scientific research on a topic that is of interest for a broader audience. ISOC-Bulgaria. You can contact Alexander at his email at Brown University: alexander_kanov@brown.edu

 

 

Usage, Perception, and Motivation of Cyrillic vs. Latin (Romanized) Script in Bulgarian Online Communication
SLAV1300: Sociolinguistics
Professor Masako U. Fidler, Ph.D.
Brown University

 

Alexander Kanov
December 18, 2015
B00806693

 

  1. Abstract

Although the official script of the Bulgarian language has been Cyrillic throughout the nation’s entire history, Bulgarian online communication is conducted in both the Cyrillic and the Latin (Romanized) script. The objective of this paper is to answer the questions ‘how?’ and ‘why?’, assessing three dimensions: frequency of script usage, perception of scripts by interlocutors, and motivation for script usage. A quantitative analysis of these three elements broadly finds that the majority of Bulgarians use the Cyrillic script; that the primary reasons for using Cyrillic and Latin differ markedly; and that Cyrillic is perceived more favorably on all examined personal attributes, though not to a uniform degree. A qualitative discussion seeks to explain these trends and attitudes, their importance, and their implications for script usage.

  1. Background
    • History of script-related factors in Bulgaria
      • Bulgarian national standard (BNS) era

The BNS keyboard layout was established in 1907 as a national standard for typewriters, undergoing a slight adaptation in 1978 (“Клавиатурна подредба”). It was designed to provide access to the most frequently used characters in the Bulgarian language, thus optimizing the speed and efficiency of typing (“Клавиатурна подредба”). Unsurprisingly, the BNS layout has little or nothing in common phonetically with either the QWERTY or the Dvorak keyboard layout (see Exhibit 12).

The advent of the digital age introduced complications in Bulgarians’ use of Cyrillic, as the script is not part of computers’ core encoding language (Kochhar). Users’ transliteration of Bulgarian into the Latin script, known as Latinization or Romanization, emerged a function of the resulting technical difficulties. Being able to type in the Cyrillic script was contingent on either the purchase of a BNS-marked keyboard or the modification of existing hardware to reflect the BNS layout. Bulgarian users were often unwilling to bear the cost of the purchase or the inconvenience of the modification; some were completely unable to do so due to living abroad. An additional technical problem exacerbated the situation: inconsistent Unicode character compatibility occasionally resulted in Cyrillic text being disarrayed into a series of indecipherable symbols (see Exhibit 13). (Kirova)

  • Integrated phonetic Cyrillic era

Vista, released in 2007, was the first Windows operating system to include a phonetic Cyrillic keyboard[1] (“Windows Vista”). The phonetic keyboard is based on the QWERTY layout of characters, where a key input of every Latin character corresponds to an output of the phonetically equivalent Cyrillic character[2].

The introduction of the integrated phonetic keyboard was significant because it meant that users no longer had to specifically accommodate BNS Cyrillic keys in terms of hardware or expend mental effort in memorizing multiple keyboard layouts. In some sense, phonetic Cyrillic democratized the script, rendering it more easily accessible to those who wished to use it. Improved Unicode support further lessened the obstacles to using Cyrillic by decreasing the occurrence of compatibility issues (“Cyrillic”).

  • Virtual keyboard era

The latest stage of Bulgarian online communication furthers the trend of Cyrillic democratization. This present stage is characterized by two interrelated factors: (1) the growing and broadening usage of smartphone, tablets, and other smart mobile devices[3], and (2) the increase and improvement in internet connectivity for such devices[4]. As a result, “[c]onsumer behavior in Eastern Europe is now shifting from voice-centric to data and app-centric,” with 70% of Bulgarian smartphone users accessing the Internet through their device every day (Europe: Ericsson Mobility Report)(Digitribe Report).

Why are these factors relevant to Bulgarians’ online usage of Cyrillic or Latin? The growing usage of mobile devices has shifted the dynamic of script choice by providing near-total ease of use for Cyrillic. Typographic input, due to smartphones’ touchscreen interfaces, is not bound by a physical keyboard[5]; thus, opting for a Cyrillic keyboard layout to appear on-screen is simply a matter of selecting an option in the device’s settings. This lies in stark contrast to older mobile phones, with which text messaging (SMS) was often only possible in the Latin script (Paulsen 168).

Moreover, useful functions such as spelling check and auto-correction are better integrated into smart mobile devices[6] than into personal computers, usually enabled by default and without the need for additional adjustments (“Check Spelling”). The smart device’s word suggestions are based on a standard Bulgarian dictionary, resulting in compatibility with Cyrillic script only (Henry)(“What Languages”). A new, mobile-specific function further shifts the typing dynamic in favor of Cyrillic: predictive text, an algorithm whereby a user’s smartphone device automatically suggests completed words based on the first few letters of input, is also solely compatible with the Cyrillic script.

  • Academic context

An excellent starting point of reference is Allehaiby’s study of affect and attitudes regarding ‘Arabizi’, the Latinized version of the Arabic script used in computer-mediated contexts. Arabizi, like Latinized Bulgarian, emerged in response to the lack of technological support for the language’s original script, but has continued its existence even after these limitations were overcome (Allehaiby 53). Allehaiby finds that some perceive Arabizi positively as producing a new, more globalized identity; others, however, resent it for negatively impacting the use of Arabic language and promoting westernization in an unfavorable sense (Allehaiby 56-8, 60). Allehaiby suggests an age difference in attitudes, whereby younger individuals perceive Arabizi as “trendy” and “cool” but older generations reject the script. (57-8).

A well-studied and more geographically proximal example of an equivalent phenomenon is ‘Greeklish’. Relatively well-documented motives for Greeklish usage include convenience, speed, and ease of typing; anecdotal evidence also suggests users may choose the script for reasons of individuality and self-expression (Androutsopoulus 244)(Tseliga). A negative attitude towards usage of the Latin script, however, is strongly voiced: Greeklish is perceived by some as a threat to the historical traditions of the Greek language and an affront to its aesthetic sensibilities (Androutsopoulus)(Koutsogiannis). Commentators note that attitudes towards Greeklish are colored by sociocultural context, specifically the fact that Greek language and orthography have repeatedly been subject to debate in, for example, the ‘language question’ of Demotic vs. Katharevousa (Koutsogiannis).

Perhaps the most relevant point of comparison is provided by Russia[7], which shares much of its informal Latinization conventions with Bulgaria (Ivković). Paulsen describes how transliteration of Russian into the Latin script originated due to technological constraints which are now no longer relevant, yet a “computer-mediated digraphia” persists. Attitudes toward Latinized Russian are described as generally negative, ranging from accommodative to aggressively opposed – the latter including the perception that Latin script users are “lazy, stupid, [and] too influenced by Western values.” (Paulsen 168) Although Paulsen’s research approach is more anecdotal than it is systematic, these findings provide a valuable reference point for the analysis of Bulgarian Latinization.

Within Bulgaria itself, discussion has focused around the question of official Latinization policy. Most publications have been related to technicalities such as which Latin character should be used to transliterate a given Cyrillic phoneme in official documents (Report on the Current Status)(“Правилник”). Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov’s 2003 paper on “Romanization” provides a comprehensive overview of the linguistic aspects of the phenomenon, but is not recent enough to take into account more current developments of script usage in online communication, nor focused on sociolinguistic facets of the issue such as motivation and perception (Ivanov). In fact, Dr. Ivanov himself states that “the technical, psychological and other possible motivation behind… usage of Romanized Bulgarian – and the perspective of that usage alike – deserve a separate study,” which is a role that the present paper attempts to fulfill.

The methodology of this study is grounded in established psychometric and sociolinguistic approaches to the evaluation of attitudes towards language varieties, in the vein of William Labov and others (Preston and Colman)(Schiffman). Specifically, the survey questionnaire format is used, a standard instrument considered the most popular way of data elicitation instrument in this academic context (Agheyisi and Fishman).

  1. Methodology

 

An online survey received 220 completed responses, assessing participants on four main dimensions: demographics, script usage, motivations for script usage, and perception of others based on script usage.

Demographic information consisted of age, gender and global region of residence. Usage was operationalized as which of the two scripts the respondent used more frequently and the extent of that usage (“mostly” or “exclusively”). Participants selected, from a list of seven, one or more motives for their preference of the previously indicated script. Finally, perceptions of 14 attributes were measured through ratings indicating whether the given attribute was strongly associated with either script, weakly associated with either script, or neutral with regard to script.

The data gleaned from the survey were examined through the lenses of descriptive and inferential statistics. Data for demographics, perception, and motivation were compared on the basis of Cyrillic vs. Latin script usage, and were analyzed to determine their statistical significance and predictive power, if any.

fig 1

Exhibit 1: Conceptual map of variable relationships

 

Each group of variables was disaggregated and tested to establish its inferential value in the conceptual map depicted above. Specifically, demographics were analyzed regarding their association with perception of, motivation for, and usage of scripts; perception was analyzed in relation to motivation for script usage; motivation was analyzed for correlations with script usage; and usage was analyzed as feeding back into a possible association with script perception.

  1. Results
    • Usage

fig 2

Exhibit 2: Script usage distribution

 

The self-reported frequency of script usage exhibited a progressive decline from the Cyrillic extreme to the Latin extreme, with a markedly steep drop-off in the lattermost category. Approximately three-quarters of survey respondents claimed to be primarily users of the Cyrillic script.

fig 3

 

Exhibit 3: Script usage flexibility

 

Surveyed Cyrillic users were less script-flexible than Latin users, in the sense that over half of the former stated that they use their script exclusively, whereas less than one in eight Latin users reported to type in only the Latin script. Inferential statistics robustly associate script exclusivity with script usage, with an estimated decrease in probability ranging from 48 percentage points (pp)***[10] to 43 pp***, dependent upon the extent of controls.

  • Demographics
    • Age

fig 4

Exhibit 4: Age distribution of Cyrillic script

 

The surveyed sample exhibited a trend of Cyrillic script usage increasing with age, notwithstanding a drop in the 50- to 60-year-old age group. Despite this observed dip, the association between age and script usage is statistically best approximated by a linear relationship[11]. After controlling for factors likely correlated with age that influence script usage – namely, other demographics and motivation – the effect of age is estimated as a 0.5 pp*** increase in probability of Cyrillic script use per year. This implies, for example, that a difference of 30 years would predict an average increase in probability of Cyrillic script usage of 15 pp.

Age is associated with differences in motivation for script usage, even when controlling for gender, location, and script perception. A one-year increase in age correlates with a decrease in the likelihood of selecting the reason “convenience/laziness” of 0.6 pp*** for Cyrillic users and of 1.6 pp*** for Latin users. For users of the Latin script exclusively, age is negatively associated with the consideration “speed of typing” at the rate of -2.6 pp/year**.

  • Gender

Gender was not found to be associated with any overall difference in script usage. However, between-gender differences in script motivations were noted for participants who used mostly or exclusively Latin. Statistically, females are predicted to be 46 pp** and 36 pp** more likely than males to indicate “accommodation to the interlocutor’s script” and “convenience/laziness”, respectively, as reasons for typing in the Latin script, controlling for age, location, and perception.

In terms of overall perception, Latin-using females are predicted to have a 55 pp* of standard deviation (SD) lower rating of their own script than are Latin-using males, controlling for age and location.

  • Location

 fig 5

Exhibit 5: Geographic correlations of script usage

 

Comparing Bulgarians abroad to a baseline of individuals located in Bulgaria yielded the following associations with likelihood of using Cyrillic script: -30 pp*** for Continental Western Europe, -21 pp* for Great Britain, and +12 pp* for North America, controlling for all other demographic factors.

Latin script users in all three foreign regions are over 30 pp** more likely to indicate “convenience/laziness” as a motivation for their script choice, controlling for demographics and perception. Those based in Great Britain or North America are predicted to have an over 30 pp** higher likelihood of indicating “intended perception of discourse by interlocutor” as a reason for using the Latin script than are domestic Bulgarians, controlling for other demographics and perception. On the other hand, being located in North America is associated with a decrease of 28 pp*** in the likelihood of indicating intended perception as a reason for using the Cyrillic script, again controlling for age, gender, and perception.

For the attribute of authority, being located in North America compared to Bulgaria correlates with a 39 pp SD*** higher rating for Cyrillic relative to Latin script. The same geographical comparison yields a 27 pp of SD** greater rating in the Latin direction for the attribute of funness. All three aforementioned statistics include controls for other demographics and perception.

  • Perception

The average ratings for all tested attributes were rated higher for Cyrillic script than for Latin script, though not to a uniform degree. The standard deviation error bars adjacent to the mean values in the following graphic provide an approximation of the degree of consensus for each attribute:

fig 6

Exhibit 6: Ranking of attributes on script perception

 

Attitudes regarding the tested list of attributes were found to be correlated with script usage, with the users of a script predicted to have a 72 pp of SD*** average perception rating higher for their own script than users of the other script, controlling for demographic factors. The difference between “mostly” and “exclusively” script users’ total average ratings was not significant at the p<0.10 level for either script.

The following histogram visualizes the frequency distribution of total average response ratings of survey participants:

fig 7

Exhibit 7: Distribution of average script perception ratings

  • Motivation

 

fig 8

Exhibit 8: Motivations for script usage, by script

 

Survey responses revealed a stark contrast between scripts in terms of motivations for their usage. The biggest percentagewise gaps in favor of Cyrillic were for “preservation of orthography and literary traditions”, “aesthetic considerations”, and spelling; Latin script users favored “convenience/laziness” and “speed of typing” relatively the most.

The following inferential statistics demonstrate the differences between the tested motives’ associations with script, controlling for demographics and correlations between motives:

Motive Associated likelihood of Cyrillic use
Accommodation to the interlocutor’s script +10.7 pp***
Aesthetic considerations +7.0 pp*
Convenience/laziness -19.7 pp***
Intended perception of discourse by interlocutor +10.9 pp***
Preservation of orthography and literary traditions +34.5 pp***
Speed of typing -22.0 pp***
Spelling +14.3 pp***

 

Exhibit 9: Associations of motives with probability of script choice

 

Controlling for demographics and total average perception, a systematic analysis of attributes produced the following correlations for users of the Cyrillic script, with coefficients representing the association of a one-SD increase in the attribute rating with the probability of selecting the particular motive:

Attribute Motive Coefficient (pp) Group (Cyrillic)
Discipline Convenience/laziness -0.08** All
Discipline Convenience/laziness -0.16*** Exclusively
Discipline Preservation of orthography and literary traditions 0.10** All
Industriousness Intended perception of discourse by interlocutor 0.08** All
Self-confidence Aesthetic considerations -0.22*** Mostly

 

Exhibit 10: Associations of attributes with probability of motive selection – Cyrillic script

 

The corresponding findings for Latin user groups are presented in the following table:

Attribute Motive Coefficient (pp) Group (Latin)
Authority Convenience/laziness 0.16** All
Honesty Convenience/laziness 0.23** Mostly
Industriousness Convenience/laziness -0.20** All
Intelligence Convenience/laziness 0.29** All
Intelligence Intended perception of discourse by interlocutor -0.26** All

 

Exhibit 11: Associations of attributes with probability of motive selection – Latin script

 

  1. Discussion
    • Interpretation

One conclusion that can reasonably be inferred from the data is that Latin script use is generally no longer primarily driven by technical inability. This is supported by the very small number (3%) of respondents indicating themselves as Latin-only users and by the even smaller number (1%) indicating technological factors in the “other” option choice for script motivation.

However, some low level of technological proficiency may still be required for Cyrillic; this notion could help explain the dip in the age progression observed in Exhibit 4 (“Как да си кирилизираме”). The frequency of selection of the convenience/laziness motive drops off faster with age for Cyrillic script than for Latin, implying that the age difference in script usage may be due to necessity, not choice – a supposition further supported by the relatively steep drop in “speed of typing” motivation for Latin with increasing age. To conclude the discussion of age from a broader perspective, it is important to note the current impossibility of determining whether the age-associated increase of Cyrillic use is longitudinal, i.e. as an individual grows older, or due to static inter-generational differences.

For location, there is significantly more frequent selection of the convenience/laziness motive by Latin users in Western countries compared to those in Bulgaria. This trend is likely explained by the additional convenience of not having to make the effort of switching scripts when typing a text in the local language (or codeswitching foreign words within Bulgarian).

Descriptively, Cyrillic script use abroad follows descending order by distance from Bulgaria, i.e. from North America to Great Britain to Continental Western Europe. A speculative explanation relates this trend to language conservatism, tied in this case to the element of script, as preserving a sense of national identity. However, none of the present statistical data strongly support this conjecture.

The fact that intended perception by one’s interlocutor is less likely for Cyrillic and more likely for Latin script in North America than average is possibly a result of differences in markedness owing to the aforementioned frequency of script usage. In other words, Cyrillic has less affective power since it is used by so many Bulgarians in the region, while the opposite is true for Latin script. Yet a similar preference for the intended perception motive in Latin script use holds in Great Britain, where the markedness explanation is not applicable. This hints at Latin script being a source of covert prestige[12], especially in English-speaking countries – a hypothesis which is supported by the higher funness rating for Latin script in North America. Inversely, authority is perceived as higher for Cyrillic in this region possibly due to individuals’ less frequent exposure to Cyrillic script in informal contexts (stores, advertisements, magazines, etc.) than one would expect in Bulgaria itself.

The covert prestige hypothesis is supported by the observation that, for users of Latin script, a higher rating of intelligence for Latin is associated with a lower probability of selecting the intended perception motive. The fact that Latin script was rated higher among male Latin users than among female Latin users may also corroborate this hypothesis, since covert prestige is generally sought after by men. (Kiesling)(Trudgill). The overt/covert split is seen most clearly in Exhibit 6, with education, discipline, intelligence, and authority exhibiting the highest ratings for Cyrillic and generosity, funness, and sociability at the opposite end of the ranking.

Aggregate differences in motivation warrant only a brief discussion, as most gaps between scripts are fairly self-explanatory. A perhaps useful way to classify motives is as internal and external, the former being self-interested rationales associated with the Latin script, such as laziness, and the latter being appeals to broader principles and values associated with Cyrillic.

Exhibit 10 corroborates this model by implying that discipline is connected with the less-convenient act of typing in the Cyrillic script, especially for those who do so exclusively. Discipline in also implicated in the preservation of literary traditions. The tension between such principled motivations and intrinsic self-interest is suggested by the negative association between Cyrillic self-confidence ratings and the aesthetics motive, which implies that lower self-confidence may heighten one’s reliance on superficial considerations. Finally, on average, the data suggest that Cyrillic users do wish to be perceived as industrious – perhaps a proxy for overt prestige – although the effect size is relatively small.

For Latin users, higher ratings of the script for authority and intelligence are both associated with a higher frequency of motivation by convenience – another finding congruent with the egocentric model of Latin script use. Quite perspicaciously, industriousness is negatively associated with the convenience/laziness motive, whereas honesty is positively associated with the same motive, implying that respondents may have projected their self-honesty in admitting to this slightly taboo rationale.

Overall attitudes towards Latinized Bulgarian seem to follow the typical trend of extreme opposition from a highly vocal anti-Latinization group. The large number of respondents (41%) who indicated inflexibility by claiming to be exclusive users of the Cyrillic script hints at this fact. More direct evidence is provided by the almost 10% of participants, visualized in the extreme leftmost column of the histogram in Exhibit 7, who selected the highest perception rating for Cyrillic on all attributes, as well as by those who utilized the survey’s free-response option to express the severity of their views.

  • Limitations

Perhaps the most concerning limitation of the present study is the reliance on self-report measures. Self-reporting may lead to distortions, both intentional and involuntary, in participants’ responses. An “equally frequent” answer option was not provided for script usage for this reason, making self-deception or misperception of one’s primarily used script more difficult and therefore less likely. As for script perception, one may raise the question of how to more accurately gauge attitudes than through self-report. Observational data is a conceivable alternative, additionally providing the benefit of making the purpose of the survey less explicit, but is less systematic and should complement the present approach rather than replacing it.

Another important concern is context dependency. The present study prompted respondents to evaluate Cyrillic and Latin script holistically, without providing any textual examples of either of the two. Such methodology lies in contrast with matched-guise studies, in which one or more specific passages are assessed by participants. However, this aspect of the present study may be perceived as a strength rather than a weakness: the survey clearly implied the context of online communication without inducing additional distortions that would arise from a necessarily arbitrary and limited selection of example texts.

Any critiques of survey length and extensiveness of question content are well-grounded; however, moderate brevity seems like a small price to pay for eliciting the high participation and completion rates which ultimately lent statistical validity to the survey.

Finally, the study did not differentiate between various standards or types of Latinization, despite the presence of some variation (Ivanov)(Ivković). This is also a valid critique; if one does not believe sufficient standardization has transpired for Latin script use with Bulgarian, a study of Latinization varieties would be an interesting area for future research.

  1. Conclusion

The Bulgarian Latinization situation is comparable to corresponding phenomena in other non-Latin script countries, at least in terms of the reasons for emergence and of aggregate attitudes towards scripts. The processes occurring in between this input and output, however, may prove fairly different between countries; a more detailed analysis of other instances of Latinization would elucidate these dynamics.

The most puzzling question for Bulgarian is, given the unmitigated precedence of Cyrillic over Latin on perceptions of all tested attributes, why is the Latin script still in fairly frequent use? One explanation is that some individuals are simply unaware of this attitude differential, and thus do not take it into account in their choice of script. If this is the case, the present paper may provide an impetus for change. Another, more nuanced explanation may be that although some individuals are aware of Cyrillic-favoring attitudes, they rationally choose to use the Latin script due to its advantages outweighing the disadvantages. The validity and prevalence of these and other possible explanations warrant further investigation.

Placing this phenomenon in its historical context, one may hypothesize that Latin script will continue to decrease in popularity, due to technological if not attitudinal reasons. Future research could provide complementary insights along this temporal dimension, as well as along the dimension of study design – in the form of corpus research on scripts, for example.

In terms of cultural context, the present study is a relevant quantitative and qualitative reference point for other languages with non-Latin scripts. More broadly, it can be used to draw parallels relating the Latinization situation in Bulgaria to other online communication phenomena. Consider the following proposition: for single-script languages, differences in attitudes towards grammatically proper discourse and abbreviated, lowercase, or otherwise informal discourse may be similar to those between Cyrillic and Latin script. In any case, written communication is becoming an ever-larger part of how we interact in the digital age; it is therefore worth giving thought to why we type the way we do and to how this affects the way others perceive us.

  1. Appendix
    • Additional exhibits

fig 12

Exhibit 12: BDS keyboard layout (Scroch)

fig 13

Exhibit 13: Unicode compatibility problems with Cyrillic (Bmas)

  • Methodological notes
    • Survey

The survey was compiled in Qualtrics and was distributed through Facebook and Skype. Solicitations were addressed to individuals on a one-on-one basis as well as to group audiences ranging from three to 6,200 members The survey was distributed by multiple individuals, who varied, among other characteristics, in their typical script of choice; survey solicitation prompts were formulated approximately equally in either Latin and Cyrillic script. These precautions were taken to reduce bias and eliminate the observer-expectancy effect.

Out of 263 initiated surveys, 220 were completed, representing a completion rate of 84%. The trimmed mean survey response time was 5 minutes. Mean age of participants was 37.5 ± 15 years. Gender representation was 62% female, 38% male. Participants’ location of residence was as follows: North America, 42%; Bulgaria, 40%; Great Britain, 8%; Western Europe, 8%; other, 2%.

The list of possible motivations was compiled based on preliminary qualitative research, specifically informal interviews with Bulgarian Internet users of various demographics and script preferences, as well as on reasons documented in the literature and other sources (Ivanov)(“Шльокавица”). The list of attributes in the perception question was primarily based on the lists used by Andrews and Bilaniuk in their respective sociolinguistic studies of attitudes in Slavic languages. Several additional attributes from N. H. Anderson’s seminal compilation of personality-trait words were incorporated to reflect preliminary hypotheses and interviewee opinions regarding attributes that could be perceived differently between scripts. As a means of preventing complications related to rating responses and analysis, no affectively negative negative attributes were chosen.

For the survey questions on motivation and perception, the order of answer choices was randomized as to prevent any serial position effects. The location and motivation questions both provided an answer choice of “Other”; selection thereof was negligible (<5% of total survey respondents each).

  • Survey (translated)

Thank you for your participation in this anonymous survey. Please provide the following information:

 

Age:

 

Gender:

  • Male
  • Female

 

Location:

  • Bulgaria
  • North America
  • United Kingdom
  • Western Europe
  • Other:

 

 

 

Which script do you use when typing in Bulgarian in electronic communications?


o Exclusively Cyrillic o Mostly Cyrillic o Mostly Latin o Exclusively Latin

 

What are the main reasons for your preference of the indicated script? (You may select more than one answer.)

  • Accommodation to the interlocutor’s script
  • Aesthetic considerations
  • Convenience/laziness
  • Intended perception of discourse by interlocutor
  • Preservation of orthography and literary traditions
  • Speed of typing
  • Spelling (including autocorrect)
  • Other:

 

How do you perceive the following attributes in your interlocutor based on his/her script of typing? Indicate to what extent (if at all) the given attribute is more closely linked to a certain script.

 

  Higher for

Cyrillic

(Equal;

no difference)

Higher for

Latin

Authority o o o o o
Creativity o o o o o
Discipline o o o o o
Education o o o o o
Friendliness o o o o o
Funness o o o o o
Generosity o o o o o
Honesty o o o o o
Industriousness o o o o o
Intelligence o o o o o
Resourcefulness/tactfulness o o o o o
Self-confidence o o o o o
Sensitivity o o o o o
Sociability o o o o o

 

 

  • Statistics

A combination of Stata and Microsoft Excel was used to analyze the data from the survey. The primary method of analysis was multivariate OLS regression, a means of assessing the amount of change in one variable associated with the changes in other variables. Independent variables were regressed on dependent variables as per the conceptual map presented in Exhibit 1.

  1. Bibliography

 

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Allehaiby, Wid H. “Arabizi: An Analysis of the Romanization of the Arabic Script from a Sociolinguistic Perspective.” Arab World English Journal 4.3 (2013): 52-62.

Anderson, Norman H. “Likableness Ratings of 555 Personality-Trait Words.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 9.3 (1968): 272-79.

Andrews, David R. “Subjective Reactions to Two Regional Pronunciations of Great Russian: A Matched-Guise Study.” Canadian Slavonic Papers 37.1 (1995): 89-106.

Androutsopoulus, Jannis. “‘Greeklish’: Transliteration Practice and Discourse in the Context of Computer-Mediated Digraphia.” Standard Languages and Language Standards: Greek, Past and Present. By Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Michael Silk. London: Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College, 2009. 221-50.

Bilaniuk, Laada. “Gender, Language Attitudes, and Language Status in Ukraine.” Language in Society 32 (2003): 47-78.

Bmas. “Маймуница” Digital image. Hackintosh.me. 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

“Check Spelling and Grammar in a Different Language.” Office Support. Microsoft. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

“Cyrillic.” Unicode Discussion. Wikia. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Digitribe Report 2013. Pragmatica, 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Europe: Ericsson Mobility Report Appendix. Ericsson, June 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

European Digital Landscape 2014. We Are Social, Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Henry, Alan. “How Predictive Keyboards Work (and How You Can Train Yours Better).” Lifehacker. N.p., 8 Oct. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Ivanov, Lyubomir. “On the Romanization of Bulgarian and English.” Comparative Linguistics 28.2 (2003): 109-18.

Ivković, Dejan. “Cyber-Latinica: A Comparative Analysis of Latinization in Internet Slavic.” Language@Internet 12 (2015): Language@Internet. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Kiesling, Scott F. “Men’s Identities and Sociolinguistic Variation: The Case of Fraternity Men.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 2.1 (1998): 69-99.

Kirova, Lyudmila. “Билингвизъм и диграфия в речта на българските геймръи. LiterNet 8.21 (2001). Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Kochhar, Ravi. “ASCII Table: 7-bit.” Basement Computing. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 8 Apr. 2008. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Koutsogiannis, Dimitris. “Greeklish and Greekness: Trends and Discourses of “Glocalness”.” The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online. By Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2007.

Labov, William. The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1966.

“Max Telecom Will Launch First Bulgarian 4G LTE Network.” Max Telecom. 4 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Paulsen, Martin. “Translit: Computer-mediated Digraphia on the Runet.” Digital Russia: The Language, Culture and Politics of New Media Communication. Ed. Martin Paulsen, Michael S. Gorham, and Ingunn Lunde. Routledge, 2014. 156-74.

Preston, Carolyn C., and Andrew M. Colman. “Optimal Number of Response Categories in Rating Scales: Reliability, Validity, Discriminating Power, and Respondent Preferences.” Acta Psychologica 104 (2000): 1-15.

Report on the Current Status of United Nations Romanization Systems for Geographical Names: Bulgarian. UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems, 2013.

Republic of Bulgaria. Правилник за издаване на българските документи за самоличност. 2007.

Republic of Bulgaria. National Statistical Institute. R&D, Innovations and Information Society. Households Who Have Internet Access at Home. 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Schiffman, Harold F. “The Study of Language Attitudes.” School of Arts & Sciences. University of Pennsylvania. Web.

Scroch. Original Bulgarian BDS 5237:1978 Keyboard Layout. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. The Wikimedia Foundation. Web.

“Telenor to Offer 4G Services in Bulgaria.” Telenor Group. 26 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Trudgill, Peter. “Sex, Covert Prestige and Linguistic Change in the Urban British English of Norwich.” Language in Society 1.2 (1972): 179-95.

Tseliga, Theodora. ““It’s All Greeklish to Me!”: Linguistic and Sociocultural Perspectives on Roman-Alphabeted Greek in Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication.” The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online. By Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2007.

“What Languages Are Currently Supported for SwiftKey on Android?” SwiftKey Support. TouchType Ltd, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

“Windows Vista: An Expanded View of Internationalization.” Microsoft Developer Network | MSDN. Microsoft. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Zhirnov, Evgeny. “О латинизации русского алфавита.” Коммерсантъ Власть 2 (2010): 56. Издательский дом Коммерсантъ. Коммерсантъ, 18 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

“Как да си кирилизираме компютъра.” Уикикниги. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

“Клавиатурна подредба по БДС.” Уикипедия, Свободната енциклопедия. The Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

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[1] Workarounds to enable phonetic Cyrillic typing in previous versions of Windows were available, but generally less streamlined and required some technological savvy to install, limiting their popularity.

[2] Various punctuation marks and non-exploited Latin letters are used to account for Cyrillic letters with no direct Latin correlate, e.g. ‘щ’ (‘sht’) is produced by the ‘]’ key and ‘я’ (‘ya’) is produced by the ‘q’ key.

[3] 1.7 million users, or 24% of the total population, used mobile devices to access social media in 2014, as compared to a 26% average for Europe and 10% for Eastern Europe Active mobile social users comprised 57% of total active social media users, compared to a 66% average for Europe and 10% for Eastern Europe. (“European Digital Landscape”)

[4] Mobile internet connectivity grew at a 55% CAGR from 5% in 2010 to 42% in 2015 (“Households Who Have Internet”). Compare this number to the 48% average penetration for Europe (European Digital Landscape). 33% of the population (or 79% of total mobile internet users) have 3G network subscriptions, compared to 17% in Eastern Europe, and latest-generation 4G and LTE is gradually rolling out in the country (European Digital Landscape)(“Households Who Have Internet”)(“Max Telenor”)(“Telenor”). The majority of Bulgarian smartphone users (56%) are subscribed to an unlimited-data mobile Internet plan (Digitribe Report).

[5] Most Blackberry phones, due to retaining a physical keyboard design, are an exception; however, their market share in Bulgaria is negligible. (Digitribe Report)

[6] Currently, this applies only to devices using Android operating system – the majority of smartphones in Bulgaria (Digitribe Report). However, if and when similar functionality introduced to other operating systems, ease of Cyrillic script usage may become even more widespread.

[7] Although the USSR planned and implemented, for a brief period of time in the 1920s and 1930s, a policy of Latinization (‘латинизация’), the historical impact of this fact is faint or non-existent (Zhirnov).

[8] See Appendix sections 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 for detailed survey methodology.

[9] See Appendix sections 7.2.3 for additional notes on analytical methodology.

[10] *p<0.10, **p<0.05, ***p<0.01. These conventions for levels of statistical significance will be used throughout the remainder of the paper

[11] Based on a higher R-squared value than that of exponential representations.

[12] For an in-depth explanation of the covert prestige concept, see Labov’s The Social Stratification of English in New York City.

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Масовото следене не е правилният отговор в борбата с тероризма

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on November 18, 2015

Публикуваме тази статия на редакционния съвет на в. “Ню Йорк Таймс” от 18.XI.2015 г., защото почти всичките аргументи в нея важат и за Европейския съюз, а и за България.

Масовото следене не е правилният отговор в борбата с тероризма

Това е нещастен, но лесен за предсказване ритуал след всяка нова терористична атака: определени политици и чиновници, без да се бавят, използват трагедията за своите  собствени нужди. Казаното в понеделник от Джон Бренън, директора на ЦРУ, отбеляза ново и още по-позорно падение.

Джон Бренън - директор на ЦРУ. Снимка: Уикипедия

Джон Бренън – директор на ЦРУ. Снимка: Уикипедия

Говорейки по-малко от три дни след координираните терористични атаки в Париж, които убиха 129 души и раниха стотици, г-н Бренън се оплака от “извиване на ръцете на правителството в усилията да се опита да разкрие тези терористи”.

Това, което той нарича “извиване на ръцете” беше реакцията на обществото след разкритията, направени през 2013 г. от Едуард Сноудън (бивш служител на граждански договор с Агенцията за национална сигурност – АНС), че АНС е използвала разпоредби от Патриотичния закон, за да събира тайно информация за милиони телефонни разговори на гражданите на САЩ. През юни т.г. президентът Обама подписа Закона за свободата на САЩ, който сложи край на масовото събиране на телефонни данни от територията на страната (но не и събирането на други, като електронна поща и съдържанието на международни телефонни разговори на американците) и изисква тайния Съд за чуждестранно следене и разузнаване да направи своите най-важни решения достъпни за обществото.

Тези реформи са само дребно подобрение на Патриотичния закон, но разузнавателната общност видя в тях голяма пречка за усилията ѝ в борбата с тероризма. В своите понеделнишки коментари г-н Бренън нарече [терористичните] атаки в Париж “биене на камбаната” и твърдеше, че последните “политически и законодателни” действия “правят способността ни да открием… тези терористи много по-трудна.”

Трудно е да се повярва на каквото и да е казано от г-н Бренън. Миналата година той отрече, че ЦРУ е проникнало незаконно в компютрите на служители в Сената, които провеждаха разследване на програмите за задържане и изтезания на ЦРУ, когато фактически го бе сторило. През 2011 г., когато Бренън беше съветник по борбата с тероризма на президента Обама, той заяви, че американските безпилотни самолети не са убивали никакви цивилни лица, въпреки доказателствата, че са убили тъкмо такива хора. А неговият шеф Джеймс Клапър, директор на националното разузнаване, призна, че е излъгал Сената, когато е говорил за събирането на данни от АНС. Дори да оставим липсата на доверие настрана, не е ясно какво още иска г-н Бренън.

Повечето от хората, извършили атентатите в Париж вече са били в полезрението на службите във Франция и Белгия, където няколко от нападателите са живели на стотина метра от централното полицейско управление, в квартал, известен като спокойно място за всички екстремисти. Както каза един френски експерт в борбата с тероризма и бивш служител в [Министерство на] отбраната, това показва, че “нашето разузнаване всъщност е доста добро, но способността ни да действаме въз основа на събраното от него… е ограничена от количеството на разузнавателните данни.” С други думи, проблемът в този случай не е в липсата на данни, а липсата на действие от страна на властите, след като вече са имали тези данни.

В действителност безразборното събиране на огромни масиви от данни никога не е било полезно. Вече две години откак станаха известна програмите на АНС за събиране на такива данни, а разузнавателната общност все още не е успяла да докаже, че подслушването на телефони е успяло да предотврати дори един терористичен атентат. Независимо от това, от години служителите на ЦРУ, конгресмените и сенаторите многократно подвеждаха обществеността с твърдения, че то е ефективно.

Това, че разузнавателните агенции не казват истината за подслушването, е една част от проблема. По-големият проблем е готовността им да заобиколят законите, независимо какво пише в тях. Разкритията на Сноудън демонстрираха колко лесно е да се злоупотреби със силите и средствата на службите за сигурност, когато техните правомощия са дефинирани едва-едва, а и се извършват тайно.

Като слушаме г-н Бренън и други чиновници – напр. Джеймс Коуми, директор на Федералното бюро за разследване, току-виж сме повярвали, че правителството е безпомощно да защити американците срещу заплахата от бъдещи терористични атаки.

Г-н Коуми каза, че технологични компании като Apple и Google трябвало да направят така, щото органите на реда да имат възможност да декодират криптираните съобщения на потребителите на услугите, които тези компании предоставят. Но ако се оставят такива вратички в софтуера, това ще направи потребителите много по-уязвими за хакерски атаки от страна на престъпниците, а и на чуждите разузнавания. Експертите казват, че службите могат да разкрият връзките между заподозрените и без да използват такива вратички, като просто проучват с кого си говорят или обменят съобщения, колко често и за колко време.

Истината е, че разузнавателните служби могат да вършат повечето от нещата, които правеха и преди, само че с малко повече контрол от страна на съда и на обществото. Никой не оспорва факта, че службите и органите на реда трябва да разполагат с необходимите правомощия, за да открият и предотвратят атаки, преди те да са започнали. Но това не означава да приемем без да задаваме въпроси неефективни и по всяка вероятност противоконституционни действия, които ограничават свободата, без да правят живота ни по-безопасен.

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България в света на Интернет-икономиката: предложение към управляващите

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on April 18, 2015

Председателят на УС на “Интернет общество – България” е публикувал следния текст в блога си, който препечатваме, защото изразява позиции, които организацията е налагала и защитавала от години.

На вниманието на всички граждани, но и с молба към хората в управлението на България и ЕС.
Излезе вторият пореден доклад на “Бостън Консалтинг Груп” за Интернет-икономиката.

Таблица с класация

Тази година България е по-добре от миналата (37-мо място) – вижте таблицата.
Където има зелен цвят, там е добре. Ние имаме зелено в графата “инфраструктура” – благодарение на липсата на регулация за Интернет, частният бизнес е сторил това, което може в условията, благоприятни за конкуренцията.
Инфраструктурата е най-важният компонент за успешната модерна икономика и е чудесно, че там сме добре. Останалите три обаче също са важни, а и са еднакви по тежест:
Индустриалният, каквито са липсата на капитал и квалифицирана работна ръка възпрепятстват успешните онлайн-бизнеси и развитието на цифровите бизнеси.
Индивидуалният – платежни системи, сигурност на данните и др. – влияе на степента, в която гражданите и потребителите се ангажират с онлайн бизнеса.
Информационният включва количеството на съдържание на български и следването от страната на отвореност на данните, както и проблеми при достъп до определено съдържание.

Таблица - първите страни

Ако можем да дадем някакъв съвет на управляващите, той е: по-малко държава в тези области, където изоставаме. Дайте повече свобода на хората и фирмите, за да развиват онлайн-бизнеса. Ако искате да помогнете, вложете средства в модернизирането на Български пощи, за да може онлайн търговията да е сигурна не само при използване на електронен подпис, но и при доставката на продуктите. Намалете ДДС за стоки, купувани онлайн *и* доставяни по пощата, например.
Хвърлям няколко идеи, от прима виста, но съм убеден, че ИТ-бизнесът може да ви даде още много – и по-добри! – предложения, чието реализиране би довело до повишаване на оборота в онлайн-бизнеса, до по-високи приходи в държавната хазна, до по-малко сива икономика.
Помогнете като намалите пречките!
Може ли да го направите?

Докладът може да бъде свален тук. Съобщението за медиите (на английски) е тук.

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Конференция на Международния съюз по далекосъобщения (МСД) приема документи от интерес за нашата Интернет общност

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on November 4, 2014

Participants at the ITU PP 2014 Conference

Вени Марковски с делегати на конференцията

Днес на Конференцията на МСД в Бусан, Корея, бяха приети следните резолюции по теми, които са важни за Интернет обществото и в България. .

Можете да ги свалите тук, както следва (на английски, в червено са дадени промените спрямо предишните версии на тези документи, приети на конференцията на МСД в Гуадалахара, Мексико, през 2010 г.):

Резолюция № 101 (Мрежи, базирани на Интернет-протокол)

Резолюция № 102 (Ролята на МСД по отношение на международната публична политика, свързана с Интернет и мениджмънт на Интернет ресурси, вкл. домейни и адреси)

Резолюция № 133 (Ролята на администрацията /на съобщенията/ от страните-членки за мениджмънта на интернационализираните (многоезични) домейни)

Резолюция № 180 (Подпомагане прехода от IPv4 към IPv6)

Стенографски запис от изказванията по време на приемане на резолюциите

Вени Марковски с делегати на конференцията

Вени Марковски с делегати на конференцията

Вени Марковски, председател на УС на “Интернет общество – България”, беше член на българската делегация по време на Конференцията на пълномощните представители в МСД и активно участваше в работата на ад-хок групата, която прекара над 50 часа в обсъждания на цитираните по-горе резолюции.

Научихме, че той е бил активен в изказванията, но също и в работните групи, които са обсъждали въпросните резолюции и е осигурил голямо количество информация с факти и данни както за колегите си от делегацията на България, така и за други делегации.

Коментирайки за “Интернет общество – България”, той отбеляза позитивния дух на сътрудничество, който съществуваше сред всички участници.
– В сравнение с ITU WCIT през 2012 г., тази конференция беше много по-добра. Постигнат бе консенсус по всички теми. Радвам се, че много членове на международното Интернет общество бяха тук, вкл. и ръководителката на организацията Кати Браун. Регионалните Интернет регистри, ИКАНН и др. бяха също сред участниците и това е добре, защото показва, че Интернет организациите могат да предоставят ценна информация на делегациите на държавите-членки.

______
* В допълнение към сериозния и задълбочен принос, който оказа в работата на конференцията, Вени Марковски пускаше съобщения в Туитър за хода ѝ, а освен това направи редица снимки.
** – Same text in English.

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Internet-related resolutions, accepted at the ITU Plenipotentiary conference in Busan, Korea

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on November 4, 2014

Participants at the ITU PP 2014 ConferenceToday the ITU Plenipotentiary conference in Busan, Korea, accepted the following resolutions, which are of importance for the global Internet community.

Please, download them them here, as follows (note that in red color are the changes from the previous resolutions):

Resolution 101 (INTERNET PROTOCOL-BASED NETWORKS)

Resolution 102 (ITU’S ROLE WITH REGARD TO INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE INTERNET AND THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERNET RESOURCES, INCLUDING DOMAIN NAMES AND ADDRESSES)

Resolution 133 (ROLE OF ADMINISTRATIONS OF MEMBER STATES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERNATIONALIZED (MULTILINGUAL) DOMAIN NAMES)

Resolution 180 (FACILITATING THE TRANSITION FROM IPV4 TO IPV6)

Script from Plenary Meeting – Nov. 4, 2014, Internet resolutions

Veni Markovski with delegates at the confernece

Veni Markovski with delegates at the confernece

Veni Markovski, chairman of ISOC-Bulgaria, was a member of the Bulgarian delegation to the ITU-PP14, and was an active participant in the work of the ad-hoc group, which spent more than 50 hours in the days of the conference, to achieve the final edits above quoted resolutions.

We were also told that he has been active both in front of the microphone, and in the hallways, and has provided a lot of factual information to his fellow colleagues at the delegation of Bulgaria, and other delegations from around the globe.

In reporting back to ISOC-Bulgaria, he mentioned the good and cooperative spirit, which was present at the conference by all participants.
“It is totally different than the ITU WCIT in 2012, which was widely recognized as a failure by all participants, no matter how they voted”, he noted in special comment for this publication. “This time we worked in the good spirit of reaching consensus on all matter.”

Veni Markovski also said, “I am happy to see also a lot of members of the Internet Society here, including ISOC CEO Kathy Brown, and others. The Regional Internet Registries and ICANN also had teams on the ground, which is good, as this shows the Internet organizations can provide valuable factual information to the member states’ delegations.”

________
* – Besides the serious contributions, Markovski still had time to tweet about the conference, and also published a lot of pictures, which he took himself.

** – Same article in Bulgarian – here.

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Къде да намерим актуална информация за и около “Интернет общество – България”?

Posted by Veni Markovski on July 24, 2014

Посетете страницата ни във Фейсбук

За новини от световното “Интернет общество” следете техния сайт.

 

 

Posted in Новини и коментари, Новини на български | Leave a Comment »

ISOC-Bulgaria Consultations on the ITU questions (April 2014)

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on April 18, 2014

Please, if you have edits, suggestions, write them below, in the comments area, before April 25, 2014.

ISOC-Bulgaria response to the ITU Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy issues public consultation on the following question:

What actions are to be undertaken by governments in relations to each of the international Internet-related public policy issues?

In particular the following list of issues have been noted as areas of work that the CWG- International Internet-related public policy and have been contributing to the work of the ITU.
– Multilingualization of the Internet Including Internationalized (multilingual) Domain Names
– International Internet Connectivity
– International public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
– The security, safety, continuity, sustainability, and robustness of the Internet
– Combating Cybercrime
– Dealing effectively with spam
– Issues pertaining to the use and misuse of the Internet

Answer: The Bulgarian government has undertaken long time before anyone at the ITU would even think about these issues a policy, which resulted in unprecedented (and almost not followed in other countries) growth of Internet penetration, affordability, and quality of the service. Information document № 7, provided by the MTITC to the ITU Plenipotentiary meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2010 speaks for itself.
Bulgaria has waived any licensing or registration regime for the Internet service providers since 1999. Under the Law for Electronic Services, the state does not control or deals with the Internet names and addresses (though, one must point out, it still deals with the Internet numbers – a service, which is largely known as ENUM, and which trial is still being managed by the ITU).
ISOC-Bulgaria, having been part of the last 14 years of negotiations, and sometimes legal arguments between all interested parties in the country, believes that such a policy has proven as a very successful one for the general development of the Internet sector in the country.
Concrete comments on some of the issues:

– Multilingualization of the Internet Including Internationalized (multilingual) Domain Names
The government has been part of the ICANN IDN Fast Track process; thanks partly to the unsuccessful bid to obtain Cyrillic IDN ccTLD for Bulgaria, the ICANN policy was changed, thus giving Bulgaria, Greece, and other interested countries, to appeal for review of the first objection. Furthermore, the ICANN IDN program has proven to be working both in the Fast Track, and in the new gTLD part. We see this as an example of successful cooperation and coordination between the private sector, civil society and government, which is the essence of the multistakeholder model that proved to be so successful in Bulgaria.

– International Internet Connectivity
Thanks to the lack of regulation or licensing, or even just a registration regime, Internet Service Providers were able to compete with each other, and reach levels of prices, which make the Internet in the country accessible and affordable for everyone. Bulgarian ISPs are building their own international connections, thus competing successfully with the incumbent – a prerequisite for successful, user-oriented international internet connectivity.

– International public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
As mentioned above, Bulgaria by law does not license, register, control, or interfere in anyway with the domain names and the Internet addresses, and that’s a decision that has been supported by governments and parliaments on a constant base since 1999. The Bulgarian example shows that with less regulation, there’s more competition, better choices for the users, and the access to the Internet is both affordable, and very fast. We would encourage other governments to study and use this example. It is true, however, that to reach such a decision, the whole society need to get together – government, citizens, private sector, even the incumbent telecom was supportive of this decision, taken back in 1999, when the Bulgarian Telecom was still state-owned. We understand that such a policy may not be yet acceptable in countries, which have not reached that level of cooperation, but we must also stress that the results of such a policy, are extremely beneficial for every and each of the stakeholders – users, ISPs, government. At the same time, the policies of the governments, which were welcome in the area of the management of the Internet resources, were not so well prepared in the area of privacy and data retention, perhaps also because they were drafted and accepted in the Parliament neither with the participation of the broader Internet society, nor that of ISOC-Bulgaria. As a result, when the European Court of Justice struck down the Data Retention Directive a few weeks ago, we immediately urged the government to take measures and edit the Law for Electronic Communications by taking down the text that allow metadata collection with no court control.

– The security, safety, continuity, sustainability, and robustness of the Internet
The security is usually part of the work responsibilities of the Internet service providers, the telecom operators, and the users. The state has ratified the Budapest Cybercrime convention, and it has also engaged with the International Cybercrime Academy, based in Sofia, and other entities, in order to secure the Internet to a maximum degree possible, with the limited resources available with the governmental budget. This task can only be successful, if it is built in the form of a public-private partnership.

– Combating Cybercrime
As mention, the Budapest convention is ratified, and the state works in close coordination and cooperation with law-enforcement agencies, ENISA, and other relevant bodies. A Bulgarian MEP, Ivailo Kalfin, was rapporteur to the European Parliament on Cybersecurity.

– Dealing effectively with spam
This is purely into the realm of the private business. The government deals with incoming spam, at the front routers / gateways, and makes sure that spam does not reach the mailbox of users of governmental email services. Historically, commercial operators have proven quite good in dealing effectively with spam.

– Issues pertaining to the use and misuse of the Internet
We don’t see such an engagement by the government – if the Internet is “misused”, whatever this term means, there are ways to deals with the perpetrators.

Internet Society – Bulgaria

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ISOC Bulgaria urges chapters to help governments answer to a question from the ITU

Posted by Veni Markovski on November 17, 2013

ISOC-Bulgaria has been following the developments around Internet governance on the global arena since 2001, when we started participate in the WSIS process. Our representatives supported the efforts of the Bulgarian government to make sure the Internet is developed in an open, bottom-up, and transparent way.
Last week in Geneva (November 11-12) at the ITU there was a meeting of the ITU Council Working Group on international Internet-related public policy issues. The group finished its discussions with a question that the ITU will send to all member states (note – that means to governments!), and the text accepted by the group is:

“Recognizing the scope of work of ITU on international Internet-related public policy matters, represented by the list of topics in Council Resolution 1305 Annex 1 which was established in accordance with decisions of ITU membership at the Plenipotentiary Conference, the Council Working Group on International Internet Related Public Policy invites Member States to provide their position on following question:
Q1. What actions have been undertaken or to be undertaken by governments in relations to each of the international Internet-related public policy issues identified in Annex 1 to Resolution 1305 (adopted by Council 2009 at the seventh Plenary Meeting)?”

Annex 1 gives the following issues:
– Multilingualization of the Internet Including Internationalized (multilingual) Domain Names
– International Internet Connectivity
– International public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
– The security, safety, continuity, sustainability, and robustness of the Internet
– Combating Cybercrime
– Dealing effectively with spam
– Issues pertaining to the use and misuse of the Internet
– Availability, affordability, reliability, and quality of service, especially in the developing world
– Contributing to capacity building for Internet governance in developing countries
– Developmental aspects of the Internet
– Respect for privacy and the protection of personal information and data
– Protecting children and young people from abuse and exploitation)

ISOC-Bulgaria urges all ISOC chapters around the world, but also Internet Service Providers, Regional Internet Registries, Internet-related companies and organizations that are involved in any of the 12 issues, to reach out to their governments, and help them explain to the ITU what actions are being undertaken in their respected countries or territories.

Why is it important?

For several reasons.

There are views at the ITU that the organization should “take care” of the Internet. Different countries understand it differently. The ITU itself has been talking about “establishing international control over the Internet using the monitoring and supervisory capabilities of the ITU”.

Some countries believe that governments play too small role in the Internet coordination on a world scale, and believe that they should take care of all the 12 issues listed above.

Some countries say that there should be regulation of Internet content, access to the Net, and some request web sites to be registered with the government, and content providers to be responsible for published content. Others claim that this is impossible to achieve because of the nature of the Internet. Some believe that the current Internet is not well designed and built, and there should be a new internet developed, by governments, which will be more secure, and without spam, harmful content, etc.

There are, in general, two views of development of the Internet. The President of Estonia covered both views in his speech at a conference last year in Tallinn.
ISOC – Bulgaria dealt with these issues back in 1999, when it filed a case against the government at the Supreme Administrative Court, and reached an out-of-court agreement to get rid of any licenses or registrations about ISPs, content, or any Internet-related business.

We would like to see Bulgaria’s leading role on the ITU question, and we are hopeful that other countries will also step in, and will share their positive experience in the Internet pubic policy that they have accepted within their national territories. Bulgaria, by the way, did that in an official information document, submitted to the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010.

Posted in Internet Governance, News in English | Leave a Comment »

Политическите партии отговорят на призива на “Интернет общество – България”

Posted by Internet Society - Bulgaria on February 6, 2013

През ноември 2012 г. пуснахме едни “Основни принципи на българското информационно общество:
СВОБОДА И СИГУРНОСТ

Преди броени дни получихме отговори от БСП, Движение България на гражданите и ДСБ. От ДСБ ни отговори по електронната поща Иван Костов, който написа, че споделял принципите, но ние се обърнахме към още няколко от лидерите в партията, за да получим по-обхватен отговор, който ще публикуваме веднага, щом пристигне.

Ето как отговориха на 12.01.2013 г. от Движение България на гражданите, с коментар на Сергей Петков, член на Националния съвет:

Преди около два месеца “Интернет общество – България” излезе с позиция по основните принципи за развитието на интернет пространството. Темата , която е повдигната, е нещо, от което ние живо се интересуваме.

В момента се намираме в ситуация, в която, практически, всички конвенционални медии са или политически зависими, или са в пряка зависимост от личните интереси на определен кръг хора. Тоест, ако имаш желание да изразяваш позиция, различна от позицията на статуквото, не остава друго място, освен виртуалното пространство. Освен това, имаме твърдото убеждение,че бъдещето е в интернет и то навсякъде в нашия живот.

България е една от водещите страни по скорост на обмен на информацията. И то за доста прилична цена. Това е свързано със спецификата на прехода. И причината е доста тривиална. В България доста късно започна да навлиза интернет. Което спомогна да бъдат въведени практически всички най-модерни технологии за пренос на данни. Това от една страна. От друга страна, ние се намираме по средата на трафика, което ни спомага да ползваме доста висока скорост вътре в страната. Но разпространението (penetration) на интернет в страната е изключително оскъдно. Практически е концентрирано само в градовете и то от средни по големина и нагоре. В селата не са и чували какво е това интернет. Това е един от най-важните приоритети на “Движение България на гражданите”. За да бъде пълноценно и изпълнено със съдържание словосъчетанието “информационно общество”, първо трябва да “докараме” интернет до всеки дом!

От изключителна важност е образованието на тъй наречените “потребители на интернет”. Един от основните въпроси при използването на интернет е сигурността. Но сигурност чрез ограничения, в крайна сметка довежда до изкривявания на понятието свобода. Сигурност може да бъде постигната единствено и само чрез образование. Никакви други методи и рестрикции не могат да заместят знанието и личната оценка на потребителя в интернет пространството. Налагането на случайни, покриващи отделни аспекти на интернет, правила, ограничения или пък направо рестрикции, са обречени на провал. И то защо?

Защото всяка стандартна законова инициатива отнема огромно количество време и ресурси и в крайна сметка “закъснява”. Тоест, при съвременното развитие на обществото, всеки ограничителен режим идва впоследствие. Или с други думи – интернет развитието вече е далеч преди закона да влезе в сила. Примери в тази посока има много. Освен това, интернет е бизнес като всеки един друг и поради това основно в неговото развитие е, че трябва да бъде живата и истинската конкуренция. Затова, ако ще има законови рамки , то те трябва да бъдат много широки, задължително преминали през обществена дискусия и покриващи само и единствено границите, които не трябва да се прекрачват. Като например детската порнография, разпространението на наркотици, религиозна омраза, тероризъм, ограничаване или отнемане на човешки права. Тоест, прекрачването на границата на “нормалното”. Всичко друго трябва да е свободно!

Въпреки, че комисията Барозу-2 обяви за свой приоритет развитието на високите технологии, защото най-накрая събрахме смелост да си признаем , че не можем да се състезаваме с Китай по производителност, все още не се виждат реални резултати. Само и единствено някои спорадични проблясъци.

Ето защо, ние сме напълно съгласни, че България има уникалния шанс да стане водеща в това направление. Имаме страхотната възможност да превърнем наш недостатък в наше предимство. А именно това, че все още сме млада демокрация, че не сме напълно завладени от “шаблонното” мислене, ни дава страхотен летящ старт. Само не трябва да го пропилеем. “Заслужаваме да сме начело”. Приемам предизвикателството и да работим заедно за намирането на работещи инициативи.

Отговорът от БСП (PDF), дойде на 16.01.2013 г. и е подписан от председателя на партията:

Уважаеми г-н Марковски,

Искам да Ви благодаря за писмото и за чудесната инициатива на “Интернет общество-България” – да заемем полагащото ни се място в европейското и световно информационно общество. Твърдо съм убеден, че участието на България във възможно по-голям кръг от инициативи ще ни даде възможност да дадем своя принос към определянето на дневния ред на нашите общества, да защитим своите позиции и да се утвърдим като равноправен партньор на международната сцена.
Съвсем естествено Българската социалистическа партия подкрепя вашата идея и основните принципи, които я съпътстват. БСП винаги е отстоявала позициите за свобода на словото и достъпа до информация. За жалост, в момента държавата ни не може да се похвали със спазването на тези принципи. Бих си позволил дори да твърдя, че медиите са под огромен натиск и в някои от тях се е върнало нещо от далечни времена – автоцензурата. Интернет, за съжаление, остана едно от малкото свободни пространства за изразяване на мнение
Подкрепяме настояването ви, че стандартите, правилата и условията за различните Интернет услуги, задължително трябва да се изработват заедно от всички заинтересовани участници в процеса. Да, БСП и като идеология, и като партия винаги е била за равни права и равнопоставеност.
Съзнаваме, също така, че са необходими и мерки срещу растящата киберпрестъпност, която създава недоверие в мрежите, но същевременно винаги сме били против злоупотребите от страна на органите на реда или неправомерната им намеса в правата на потребителите. Сигурността не бива да бъде за сметка на свободата.
Напълно съм съгласен с вас, че България има своето място в информационното общество и нищо не й пречи да е водеща сред страните членки на ЕС.
Ще се радвам БСП, както и други български политически сили, да направят така, че България да е сред тези, които задават посоката.
Като президент на ПЕС, се надявам и аз лично да мога да си сътруднича с вас за развитието на инициативата ви.
СЕРГЕЙ СТАНИШЕВ
ПРЕДСЕДАТЕЛ НА НС НА БСП
София, 15.01.2013 г.

Като благодарим на партиите, отговорили до момента, искаме да подчертаем, че “Интернет общество – България” е непартийна организация, която не взима страна в споровете между различните политически сили, но е подкрепяла и ще подкрепя онези личности, които имат позиции, насочени към развитието на свободен и базиран на отворени стандарти Интернет в страната и по света. Сред нашите членове има симпатизанти на всякакви политически партии и настроения, но като организация ние не се съобразяваме с това какво е от полза за една или друга партия, а какво е добро за всички Интернет потребители.

Posted in Новини на български, Политика в областта на ИТ | 1 Comment »

 
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