Article 35 of the Political Constitution of Republic of Guatemala expressly recognizes the right to freedom of expression of ideas in the following terms: Ideas can be expressed freely through any medium without prior censorship or authorization. This constitutional right cannot be restricted by any law or governmental decree.
It seems now, however, that Internet Service Providers CLARO/TELGUA, TIGO and Turbonett, Guatemala’s most prominent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), are ignoring the laws. Guatemalan users have reported blocked access to WordPress since Friday afternoon. El Abismo de Tux called customer service and blogged about it, stating that he had received no clear answer from them.
Demuexter reported the blocked access to many blogs hosted on WordPress. Homo Homini Lupus denounced the censorship in Guatemala and other blogs and tweets are demanding respect for freedom of expression in Guatemala. Micha Micha also reported WordPress blocked.
Guatemala’s largest newspapers have not yet reported the incident. Other bloggers have called the office of consumer protection, but have received few answers. This block occurs just after a political crisis last month, when social media tools were used to protest against the Government and demand justice.
Under the Twitter hashtag #bloqueowp you can find more updates, and some savvy Guatemalans are using Herdict to report the blocked site.
Let’s hope that the authorities and private companies will stop blocking websites and in the future will respect Guatemalans’ rights as consumers and citizens.
More links about it: http://www.maestrosdelweb.com/actualidad/guatemala-problema-acceso-wordpresscom/
DNSs working OK! C:\>nslookup wordpress.com
There are three possibilities, even four:
1. WP blocked because of take down order by a court or even by the office of the General Prosecutor (MP) the authority who order to arrest the Guatemalan blogger last May.
2. WP and technical issues with only 3 ISPs.
3. WP blocked because of a private agreement between the government and only 3 ISPs.
4. WP blocked for political reasons, with other methods, by Guate or Honduras gov.
Why would the ISP’s take this upon themselves? Let’s hope that this is all just a big mistake by some Guatemalan network administrator who eventually corrects his error. It would be just like Telgua to do this because they appear to have no sense of responsibility for providing any kind of quality for the modern services they sell. It is ridiculous to make any kind of service call because their agents have been programmed to ask a never ending stream of questions designed to sell more of their services instead of giving attention to a calling customer’s problems. I have now reported the WordPress problem several times. But I don’t get to actually state the problem until after I’ve completed a 15 minute interrogation about which of their services I don’t use and why I don’t want them. At the end of the call, it’s like the agent doesn’t even want to report the problem because I didn’t order anything new during the course of the call. Don’t be surprised to see this turn out to just be a big misunderstanding.
Same answer from TIGO, I also spoke with a Government Officer and his answer was: What is WordPress? I really hope it is just a misunderstandig. In any case, most of bloggers use Blogspot and the ones using wordpress are publishing using TOR or even switching their contents to blogspot.
This is very disturbing.