KGB makes public excuses
Belarusian KGB issued a formal denial of documents published by an international hacker group Anonymous. The documents imply that Belarus could be involved in supplying weapons to Pakistani terrorist groups.
The fact that the KGB reacted to the scandal around the probable cooperation of the Belarusian authorities with the international terrorist network, increases suspicions against Belarus. KGB’s entry into public debate also indicates its weak position, implying it has no other means to influence the situation.
Analysis of the documents made public by Anonymous, only a small part of which applies to Belarus, casts doubts about them being fake. Otherwise, we are talking about very large-scale falsification of thousands of electronic documents. However, the reaction of the Belarusian diplomats and security agencies in this regard makes suspicions against Belarus stronger.
From the diplomatic point of view a joint response of the Foreign Ministry, KGB and the military industry of the State Committee of Belarus to an anonymous hacker group is totally asymmetrical, and unprecedented. In March 2011 the UN accused Belarus of supplying two military helicopters to the Ivory Coast. Following the reaction of the Foreign Ministry against such accusations the issue was finally resolved and the UN had to apologize.
Finally, the scandal has revealed a serious hole in the structure of information security of Belarus. Anonymous say the documents they made public were obtained from hacked servers of the Italian Cyber-Police. If confirmed, the Belarusian secret services will be responsible for leaking confidential government information to hackers as well as to their Italian colleagues.
The most likely consequence of this internal scandal would be the resignation of Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, whose name appears in one of the published documents. However, it could happen at a later stage, when the resonance of the scandal goes down.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.