lunes, 16 de febrero de 2009

Internet censorship in Venezuela

Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, while the voting centers were starting to close and we were filled with anxiety waiting for the results, something odd happened to my computer. I thought it was a virus or a hacker. I was trying to post something here but the page did not open. I try to open any page with a blogspot domain and it was impossible, they all seemed like blocked.

Exploring other blogs, I try to open some of my favorites and I couldn't see any of them. Feeling a bit desperate, I restart my computer over and over again. It was at one of those moments, when a friend of mine showed me this page where many Venezuelans were complaining of having the same trouble I was having. We came up to a single conclussion: CANTV blocked some blog domains. We use other proxys such as this one to get to see some blogs, but it was still impossible for me to post anything.

Then, the CNE (our electoral institution) anounced the results and like two seconds later; my browser didn't seem to have any trouble uploading blogspot. I could finally enter my blog and publish and I just thought "Why would they do that?" "Why would they blocked some blog domains just when we were waiting for the results". They didn't want us to publish our thoughts, our possible prediction, or the exit polls we might hear here and there.

For now, the state company CANTV is quite unefficient when it comes to censorship a web site. For example, they blocked blogspot and wordpress but they didn't block many .com hardcore opposition websites, or that become an effective source to be informed. It looked like another clumpsy act.

But, from where I see it, the fact that CANTV holds the intention of blocking key sites in order to restrain our liberty and right to be informed; it is a reason to concern, and to pay attention to more actions like this one in the future.

2 comentarios:

  1. Julia,
    That´s the only logical explanation that there could be. Granted, if you could see a map of the Internet, not all domains are accessible at any one given time due to the technical aspects (you´d basically see a map with much of the Western hemisphere appearing static and then more of the rest of the world fading in and out based on connection status). Thankfully, they´re not that efficient...for now.

  2. Julia, ( This is from am email I sent a friend describing what happened to me. It is weird because I am not in Venezuela!)

    Some weird things happened Sunday. I had a post up about Chavez and the election and for several hours, I could not publish another or add updates. This happened to several Venezuelan bloggers. I put up a post about my daughter and it published.
    Once the election results were announced, blogger went back to normal and all my saved Updates published. This happened to MANY blogs in Venezuela which led to us using Twitter and Face Book to communicate what was going on. Weird... because I am not in Venezuela!


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