Ukraine: "If Google Were a State-Owned Company..."

Global Voices Online
Thursday, February 4, 2010

In the text below (UKR; Russian translation by LJ user grosman is here) , Lviv-based LJ user dali_bude mocks Ukrainian state bureaucracy and red tape, describing what it would be like to do a Google search if Google were a Ukrainian state-owned company. There are nearly 60 comments to this post, and most readers find the parody hilarious, albeit a bit scary and a bit sad - because is is so close to truth.

If Google were a state-owned company...

- Search requests would have to be submitted in written form, on a special application, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 AM, at [the location where you're registered as a resident]. To do this, you'd have to stand in a line of 30 people.

- The written application would include the search request, as well as your date of birth, address at which you are registered, address of your actual place of residence, the number of children, your ID number, your passport data. With your request, you'd have to attach a color photo taken within the past three months (same type as the one on your travel passport). Three original copies of the written request would have to be submitted.

- The following documents would have to be additionally submitted along with your written request:

* a certificate confirming the absence of a criminal record;
* a certificate confirming the absence of debts for communal services [utilities], including a certificate confirming the absence of debts for heating since 2002;
* a certificate from a narcologist and a psychiatrist confirming competency;
* [military service certificate];
* a written consent note from parents [...] and adult children, certifying that they are not opposed to your internet search request; if you have underage children, guardian board permission is needed;
* a decision from an expert commission of the Interior Affairs Ministry, certifying that your search would not lead to revealing state secrets (documents are accepted every third Saturday of every odd month from 4 to 4:30 PM);
* a decision of the regional department of the National Commission on the Issues of Morality, certifying that your search does not contain curses and pornography (documents are temporarily not accepted at the place of your registration, due to repairs);
* a certificate from the hospital confirming that you have had all the scheduled vaccinations and no harmful viruses would get into internet via your search;
* a certificate confirming the absence of other search requests that are currently being considered by [state company] "Googl'."

- The following payments would have to be made before you submit your search request:

* the cost of the search (450 hryvnias) [approx. $56];
* insurance payment (8.50 hryvnias) [approx. $1];
* obligatory voluntary contribution to the Googl' of the Future Fund (93.11 hryvnias [$11.63], PLEASE HAVE THE EXACT AMOUNT READY, WE DON'T HAVE CHANGE!);

- Search request would be accepted only after you sign an Additional Agreement, by which you ascertain that you will not use other internet search services for three years since the day you sign the agreement. The agreement is signed in the presence of a notary public (the notary public service fee is 150 hryvnias [$18.75]).

- You should come no earlier than in 20 work days to pick up your "Quotation from the Internet" (the official name of the search results), and you'll have to stand in yet another line for that. You'll receive the quotation in printed form (printed on a dot matrix printer). Due to the lack of state budget funding, graphics that show up in the results of the search will not be printed.

- If the results aren't there yet, you should wait 20 work days more, after which you have the right to repeat your search request.

- If you own a website and provide free access to information, then, according to the Law #666-66 from February 38, 2010, due to the need to have state regulation of the information politics on the web, and in order to unify search services and allow more convenient access to information on the web for Ukrainian citizens, you are obliged:

* to urgently pass all the information from your website to the state company "Ukrainian Googl'" on 3.5-inch floppy disks (only disks produced by the private company "Disketa-Googl'" are allowed, the price of a single item is 25 hryvnias [$3.10]);
* once you receive the confirmation, [you have] to delete all the information from your website within five days.

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