Venezuela: Blocking of social networks accentuated as political crisis worsens
Author: Access Now (USA), Published on: 24 January 2019
"Social media shutdown in Venezuela is a warning of what is to come as political tensions rise", 22 Jan 2019
#KeepItOn coalition member NetBlocks detected blocks to Twitter and Instagram, as well as partial disruptions to YouTube traffic, on Venezuela’s state internet service provider CANTV. These disruptions came alongside clashes between the National Guard and 27 of its members challenging the government of Nicolás Maduro... The Maduro government has a long history of using internet shutdowns and other forms of censorship to suppress opposition voices and limit the flow information within the country, particularly at moments of heightened tension... “The Maduro government has relied on the dissemination of misinformation alongside tight control of communication flows to maintain its grip on power,” said Verónica Arroyo, Latin America Policy Associate at Access Now. “This attack on Venezuelans’ freedom of expression is emblematic of the attack on democracy itself.”... Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline has also put together a guide for Venezuelans on circumvention and secure communications... [As of 23 Jan 2019], [r]eports from network monitors and individuals on the ground indicate widespread blocking of YouTube, Google services, and several social media platforms. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are widely inaccessible, and disruptions on Twitter, particularly for images and video, are becoming more pronounced...