Venezuela: Polemic raised due to the blockage of websites by governmental ISP

A couple of weeks ago, some fellows venezuelan twitterers reported that the website quelacreo.com (NSFW) coudn’t be accessed trough those connections provided by Cantv (the main telephonic company and internet provider, owned by Venezuelan government). The website, accesible from different lines such as Intercable, showcases highly strong content such as pictures and videos, regarding murders, violations, autopsies, and other violent crimes. Therefore, there were all kind of reactions from the users. Because of the controversial content of the website, some of them do not disagree with the measure:

@luisdirauso: @aimarb @johkhz @YimmiCastillo lo de quelacreo sinceramente me parece buenísimo que la hayan bloqueado, mejor deberían eliminar esa página!

@luisdirauso: @aimarb @johkhz @YimmiCastillo about quelacreo I sincerely think it’s great they’ve blocked it, they should better erase that page!

Some of them strongly disagree with the measure, in the belief that that it indicates an inflexion point in the government’s politics regarding the use of the net and they remark the fact that Cantv has a de facto monopoly over internet in Venezuela, since they provide over three quarters of all web traffic in the country:

@elmocho RT @Marianitareyes: CANTV utiliza el punto único para bloquear páginas. www.quelacreo.com fue la 1era. Cuáles serán las próximas?

@elmocho RT @Marianitareyes: CANTV uses the Network Access Point in order to block webpages. www.quelacreo.com was the first. Wich ones will be next?

@YimmiCastillo: Censuran páginas “indefendibles” como quelacreo para masajear la Opinión Pública. El Contenido no es el tema, es la censura. #FreeWebVe

@YimmiCastillo: They censor “indefensible” pages such as quelacreo in order to massage the public opinion. Content isn’t the subject, censorship is. #FreeWebVe

Also, it has been remarked the fact that the measure was taken without any kind of legal procedure, and that Cantv won't give any explanations about it. Furthermore, a couple days ago an alert was launched that another website, FTAchile.com, was also blocked. FTA stands for Free To Air, and it’s a website that explains how to receive free TV and radio channel signals, providing instructions and tools on how to make it. Both sites are accesible through other ISPs, and they still can be accessed using proxys. Still, the blogosphere remains indiferent to this measure, except for a few users that see in this the beginning of the online censorship:

@OSGuidoE Ayer quelacreo, hoy una página de satélites, ¿Y mañana que toca? No seas pendejo y creas que esto se detiene aquí #FreeWebVe

@OSGuidoE: Yesterday, quelacreo, today a webpage about satellites. And tomorrow what? Don’t be stupid and think this stops here. #FreeWebVe

Update: FTAchile is now accessible from Cantv. Quelacreo still isn't. I ask for people who is having troubles to access any website from Venezuela, to report it using www.herdict.org.

4 comments

  • […] taken the form of legal threats, such as Chavez’s condemnation of NoticieroDigital.com; the somewhat-controversial blocking of access to some websites; and a government-led initiative of allegedly 30,000 youth meant as a counter-offensive to […]

  • […] has taken the form of legal threats, such as Chavez’s condemnation of NoticieroDigital.com; the somewhat-controversial blocking of access to some websites; and a government-led initiative of allegedly 30,000 youth meant as a counter-offensive to […]

  • […] research to determine who is responsible for the filtering. Venezuelan Twitter users first began reporting the blocking of websites in May 2010, three years after the country’s main internet service […]

  • […] similar websites. This marks yet another episode of irregular behavior from Cantv. Reports of  website blocking without any judicial or administrative proceeding span from 2010, and earlier this year,  all web traffic was interrupted during election day, allegedly to […]

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