Filters for the Children: Argentina Considers UK-Style Internet Censorship

By: Belén Marty - @belenmarty - Jul 15, 2014, 9:59 am

Español Argentinean Senator Sandra Giménez proposed a bill on June 30 that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to a list of restricted websites as determined by the National Communications Commission (CNC). The bill is meant to target child pornography and, if passed, would impose fines on ISPs who refuse to comply with the new filters.

According to Article 3 of the bill, a user could continue to freely access the internet without filters by opting-in and requesting unrestricted access in writing. Absent this request by individual users, ISPs will be required to install corresponding filters to block access to the list of banned sites maintained by the CNC.

Should the bill be enacted, internet providers must impose filters on “all existing users” within 180 days. Failure to do so will result in a fine equal to ten times the rate paid by customers during the billing period in which filters should have been in place.

It’s a filter for child pornography sites. To stop children and babies from being violated, drugged, and sold! Think about it.

It is a filter for child pornography! Kidnapped children exploited, violated in movies, uploaded to the internet. What if it were your children?

“This bill aims to reduce the exposure of minors to sexual content through predetermined filters limiting access to restricted sites, which will be permanently identified by the enforcement authority. Therefore, all internet users, unless having expressly stated their desire for unrestricted access, will be blocked from sites identified as having sexual content,” reads the bill.

Giménez, a medical surgeon, says her proposal is intended to protect “our families” from “inappropriate” content on the internet, which can have a “high potential for harm” due to the vulnerability of minors.

“This is why restricting access to predetermined sites is an adequate alternative to guarantee safe internet use in a family environment,” the senator assured.

The senator has serious fascism problems.

Blocking content is unconstitutional. The Media Law as well (Art 32).

This Site Yes, This Site No

Article 2 of the bill stipulates that the list of banned sites will be updated and decided upon through an “agreed upon strategy of the Argentinean Internet Policy Commission.”

According to the proposal, if the internet has substantially improved our quality of life, it has also brought with it “deviant behaviors” that threaten the values of our society.

“Of these, perhaps the most alarming is the distribution and consumption of child pornography, which is a criminal phenomenon that has spread due to the multitude of distribution channels the internet offers,” the bill explains.

Beatriz Busaniche, a member of the Vía Libre foundation, expert in intellectual property, and an activist for free speech on the internet, says that neither the CNC, nor Senator Sandra Giménez, has the legal authority to decide what people can or cannot view on the internet.

Previous Restrictions

The National Commission of Communications has a precedent for attempting to block certain internet sites. On June 30, it sent out a letter to Argentinean ISPs ordering them to block access to the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay (TPB) within five days.

The Argentinian Chamber of Phonograms (CAPIF) initiated the move to block The Pirate Bay, which functions as a search engine for free downloads of virtually any type of media.

In response to the block, hackers briefly took over the CAPIF website and used it to redirect visitors to a TPB proxy site.

Regarding the block on The Pirate Bay, Busaniche told Ventitres magazine that the move was completely disproportionate. “It goes completely against active free expression laws in Argentina, as law 26.032 guarantees free access. When the judge made the order to block the site, he was saying that the information on the site did not merit this guarantee,” she explained.

The English Case

Senator Giménez’s bill is similar to the law English Prime Minister David Cameron introduced in July 2013. The English law established filters to restrict access to phonographic websites, but allowed internet users full access upon written request — the same policy proposed by the Argentinean senator.

Let’s make it clear, what @sandrasenadora is proposing is no different than what Cameron did in the UK… Careful with that!

According to Cameron, access to pornography was corrupting the youth in England and it was his responsibility to do something about it.

Some of the controversy surrounding these restrictions stems from the inability of internet filters to adequately distinguish between pornographic sites and sites that promote sex education or advice on sex addition.

After the filters were put in place in England, the website went online and allowed users to bypass the filter through a simple Google Chrome extension.

Translated by Laura Weiss.

Belén Marty Belén Marty

Belén Marty is the Libertarian Latina, a journalist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in Guatemala, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States and is a former candidate for local office with Argentina's Libertarian Party. Follow @BelenMarty.

Move Over Leopoldo: María Corina Machado Also Charged with Incitement to Violence

By: PanAm Post Staff - Jul 15, 2014, 9:36 am

EspañolVenezuelan opposition leader and former National Assembly Representative María Corina Machado learned yesterday that she was charged last month with incitement to violence. Although not made public until now, the charge stems from the protests that took place in February against President Nicolás Maduro. Machado is adamant that she was unaware of the charges: “I was never informed of the existence of a criminal case against me, preventing me from defending myself,” she said through a press release. According to Tomás Arias, Machado's lawyer, the political leader learned of her case when she visited the court house to review her file. In June, the same court charged fellow opposition leader Leopoldo López with arson, incitement to violence, damage to public property, and conspiracy. López is being held in Ramo Verde military prison outside Caracas. Previously, the regime's judiciary called Machado as a witness in a pending case over an act “against the independence and security of the nation,” after a criminal complaint filed by Jorge Rodriguez, a leader of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. According to Rodriguez, Machado was behind a destabilization plan, including an “assassination” and a “coup.” Now, Machado is accused of promoting civil disobedience, hatred among Venezuelans, and actions that threaten public peace. She faces up to six years in prison. They accuse me of nothing that I have said or done, but rather what "their witnesses" say that I said. This is not the first time Machado has felt the weight of Venezuela's suspect judiciary. One month ago, for example, she was banned from leaving the country. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello revealed that on his TV program, and he justified the measure given the investigation of a “plot to assassinate president Maduro.” A deputy since 2011, Machado was removed from office in March by the Supreme Court, after her participation in the Organization of the American States as an “alternative representative” of Panama. Source: El Universal.

Weekly E-Newsletter

Get the latest from PanAm Post direct to your inbox!

We will never share your email with anyone.