Venezuelan regulator proposes more controls on Internet content

  • By
  • November 29, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

The national telecom regulator, Conatel, has urged that the law governing TV and radio broadcasts be modified to include Internet content, El Universal and El Tiempo report.

In a recent memo to the vice president, Conatel's director Rolando Maldonado notes that messages from the public circulate on electronic media with no control. He recommends the agency be empowered to remove content immediately and to apply sanctions it deems necessary, according to a document published by Globovisión, an opposition TV network.

Maldonado also urges that minors be protected from content circulated on social networks. He suggests the hours of 9 p.m. to midnight be "supervised" so as not to contain messages inappropriate for young users, El Carabobeño newspaper adds.

No concrete proposals to regulate Internet content have been introduced, but President Hugo Chávez has suggested several times that such material should be regulated. “The Internet cannot be something open where anything is said and done,” he said in a national address last March.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.