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Censorship Network The Internet

Argentina Censors Over a Million Blogs 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-cry-for-them dept.
In his first accepted submission, bs0d3 writes "A judge in Argentina ordered ISPs to block two websites — leakymails.com and leakymails.blogspot.com. According to Google, many ISPs have simply blocked the IP 216.239.32.2 instead of using a targeted DNS filter. Over a million blogs are hosted by Blogger at this IP. Freedom of speech advocate Jillian York wrote, 'IP blocking is a blunt method of filtering content that can erase from view large swaths of innocuous sites by virtue of the fact that they are hosted on the same IP address as the site that was intended to be censored. One such example of overblocking by IP address can be found in India, where the IP blocking of a Hindu Unity website (blocked by an order from Mumbai police) resulted in the blocking of several other, unrelated sites."
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Argentina Censors Over a Million Blogs

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  • Wrong headline (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wrong headline: a judge ordered two websites blocked, not "over a million blogs".

    • But in effect a million blogs were censored in Argentina. The headline is correct.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AngryDeuce (2205124)

        Yes but it doesn't seem like it was malicious, i.e., they were censored for content. They were censored because the ISPs are fucking retarded. Still worthy of getting angry about, for sure, but it's certainly not the government's fault, and the headline certainly comes across like it's the government doing the censoring.

        Of course, if the government is involved for some reason in some shadowy way, then by all means, burn that mother down...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          But I heard the government is smart and should be trusted to run everything for me. Clearly no government would ever be involved in something like this.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            *sigh* Yes, you're right, all governments are purely evil and in for your blood, or soul, or whatever ambiguous Evil(tm) the comics you read say they're up to this generation. We get it already, smartass. Don't trust anyone, anywhere, for any reason. You go do that, we'll catch up later.

          • Perhaps you should stop watching Fox News.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              Don't fool yourself. CNN, FAUX, MSNBC, ABC, CBS are all f@cking complicit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Um.. censorship is ALWAYS malicious... And the authorities are always willing to sink an entire ship to get one guy.

          • Yes but the headline is written in such a way as to imply that the Argentinian Government is censoring a million blogs. That's not true, the AG is censoring two blogs, and the idiot ISPs just said fuck it and shut down everything, not because they were trying to kill a "million blogs", but because they're stupid asses and either didn't know what they were doing or didn't care to do it right. The headline is deliberately written to make it seem like a Great Firewall of Argentina just went up or something,
            • No, you don't understand.. I don't care if the Argentinian Government (or any other pirate) censors a million blogs, or just one, the other 999,999 are just collateral damage.. So what? It is still malicious... regardless of the damn numbers. Don't be distracted by fanciful writing..

              • The government didn't censor the other blogs, though, the stupid ISP did when they put up the blanket filter that blocks a million websites in order to comply with an order to block two. That being said, the courts didn't say block a million blogs, they said block two blogs. The only people censoring the other 999,998+ blogs are the ISPs, not the government, and the government never told them to block those blogs, either. They're not even censoring those 999,998 blogs for content reasons, obviously. Tho

                • "Argentina judge orders two blogs censored, ISPs censor a million"

                  That doesn't fit into the banner. However, since now I'm playing this game:

                  "A Million Blogs Blocked in Argentina" would fit and avoid being such a diversion. Feel better?

                  • "A Million Blogs Blocked in Argentina" would fit and avoid being such a diversion. Feel better?

                    Yes, that headline would actually be representative of the situation. Much better.

                • by tqk (413719)

                  I'm arguing that the headline to this story is fucking retarded and sensationalist.

                  I get what you're saying and mostly agree, but on the other hand, the Argentinian gov't did resort to censorship, and perhaps ought to have realized there would be collateral damage. It's a fairly blunt weapon. You reap what you sow. You censor, you should expect bad press at the very least for instigating it.

                  However, yeah, "Doofuses attempting to carry out gov't decree ..." would have been more accurate.

            • by ultranova (717540)

              The headline is deliberately written to make it seem like a Great Firewall of Argentina just went up or something, which is what I was saying...

              Yes, the Great Firewall of Argentina did just go up. That's what censoring means.

              Still, who cares? All countries will censor the Internet, for all countries have their own lies to defend; and their citizens will get around that censorship and access whatever content they desire. And in the end, the content actually accessed by said citizens will be mostly circuses.

              • Yes, the Great Firewall of Argentina did just go up. That's what censoring means.

                I'll hardly call two blogs being ordered shut down the "Great Firewall of Argentina" going up, but you describe it however you want.

                Can we agree that the headline is misleading at least, or is two now equivalent to a million?

          • by puto (533470)
            Actually argentina has sued yahoo and google successully on numerous occasions to block local access to sites that talked poorly about famed soccer star Maradona and several other famous Argentines.
        • The censorship of anything is alarming. Especially government censorship. Censorship of anything, no matter how much you disagree with the content should be tolerated in any society. Now, of course there should be laws to prevent the leaking of information, and any government employee who leaks information should be fired on the spot and perhaps subjected to a fine or imprisonment based on the contract they signed, but the actual websites that post the leaked information should be 100% protected.
          • Yes, I know, but Argentina didn't censor a million blogs, Argentina censored two blogs and the ISPs censored the rest because they're either incompetent or negligent. I feel that there is a distinction to be made there. The headline is deliberately misleading to make it seem as if the Argentinian Government just went on a million blog banning spree, and that's not at all what happened.
        • Re:Wrong headline (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Spazmania (174582) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @09:14PM (#37157802) Homepage

          They were censored because the ISPs are fucking retarded.

          You wouldn't say that had you ever worked as a network engineer at a large ISP.

          First, you'd have to route IP packets for the impacted address to an internal filtering machine. What filtering machine? Well, that's a rub too... you'd have to build one and while it's possible with open source, it isn't easy or particularly cheap.

          Then once you've "transparently proxied" the HTTP requests you want to block, you have to somehow send those packets merrily on their way... except the route for that IP address leads back to you. So, you have to tunnel it out to an system beyond your routing domain. Which means you'll need to NAT the source for anything that isn't outright proxied. That's more money.

          And then you have to very strongly log the proxied and/or NATed packets because any abuse is going to lead back to your filter machine instead of back to the customer and when the policia come knocking, by God they're going to want to know who did it and they're not going to accept the answer that the Judge-ordered filtering obscured the activity near the site ordered filtered.

          The ISPs aren't retarded here. The judge ordering an ISP to filter on a criteria ISPs aren't equipped to filter on is the retarded one.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Which isn't feasible to do without impacting performance and wrecking havoc. IP blocking is the only thing that won't impact performance. However minor it may be to you I don't want that order to negatively impact my connection and I also certainly don't want other web sites blocked. The law should forbid blocking. Period. That may lead to users having access to undesirable information or other resources. I can accept that. People will be hurt. What the government does to rectify that should be more along t

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        The BBC is an absolute propaganda tool, it is the best propaganda tool in the world because so many people think it is impartial when it is clearly not.

        The BBC glorify war, they glorify soldiers, they deify economy over quality of life.

        They always have politicians comment and then for the opposing comment they deliberately pick some member of the public who looks stupid or some other person who is not interview savvy rather than pick someone from a relevant organisation who would give a good argument agains

    • Right headline, I say.

      Argentina has censored "over a million blogs". That is the de facto occurrence. They ordered two to be censored, correct. However, the article is about how two were targeted and massive overkill was done. The ISPs saw it fit to block the best and most certain way they could to minimize their own headaches.

    • headline says nothing about a judge blocking anything - but that a million blogs gets censored, which appears to be the truth.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20, 2011 @06:28PM (#37156914)

    I'm from argentina. I've lived here all my life and I'm in Buenos Aires as I write this.

    If the state is guilty of something regarding internet and new technology here, is barely knowing of its existance. This is not the result of "censorship" as this dumb summary claims.

    This is a fuckup, nothing more.

    Of course, emos and other trash from Taringa will blow it out of proportion claiming it's wide-spread censorship, and try to politicize the hell out of it.

    • by bs0d3 (2439278)
      wasnt the order to stop leakymails a form of censorship
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It was, indeed. Censorship in pure form. The website is a whistleblower distribution site, and it contains many documents which go against the current government.

  • I can't believe I found out first on Slashdot.

    I'd like to thank my very smart representatives, courts, lawyers and public prosecutors who made this happen. Apparently Google will be investing in solving the situation, otherwise those of us technologically not challenged will be doing what we can.

    • by hjf (703092)

      This was on Infobae, which failed to mention that the site existed at all...

      Only Clarin reported it. Front page, print edition. But, you know, you aren't supposed to believe Clarin.

  • This is probably a screw-up more than censorship. Given the popularity of Blogspot, I suspect the people who did this just simply entered in a website, got an IP address, and added an iptables rule or equivalent, without looking or realizing what they were blocking. Hell, that could even be scripted, and I could easily see an intern or low-level staff having just entered "leakymails.blogspot.com" into a script without knowing what happened behind the scenes. I know ISPs hate net neutrality, but it's really

    • If you want to block an individual website without blocking everything else on the IP you have three main options

      1: Make your DNS server act as authoritative for that websites hostname.
      2: Redirect all web requests for that IP to a proxy which can then decide whether to forward them or not.
      3: Perform deep packet inspection and drop packets that look like a request for the banned website.

      The first of these is relatively easy to implement but is also very leaky (the clients can just use another DNS server). Th

    • by znerk (1162519)

      ...in an effort to keep themselves accessible around the world, we'll see hosting providers around the world bend over backwards to censor themselves and their users just because somebody, somewhere in the world, might object to some kind of political content one of their users posted.

      Google got blocked in China, and they just moved their services outside the country. China then capitulated, due to the international backlash. Yay for Google? Sure, right up until you realize they own *everything*. Speaking of which, did you notice they just bought Motorola? I have a sneaky suspicion that my next android device will be made by Motorola...

  • A fake DNS record, or a NX domain for leakymails.blogspot.com would be easily circumvented simply by using opendns, the google dns, or any other DNS server out there.
    Firewalling the IP is much more secure.
    Sure, one could use a proxy, tor or an SSH tunnel to some box outside of the firewall, but that's much more work.
    Not that I think that censoring sites is a good idea, just discussing the technical details.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. The whole reason the "Stasi 2.0" filter was blown off in Germany, was because the politicians and lawyers always talked about blocking "domains", and the ISPs knowing that this is technically absurd. There are so many things wrong... tons of false positives, false negatives, extreme bottlenecks since the government is always being cheap, etc, etc, etc.

      But IP blocking is still retarded. I know a guy from the UAE, where they have massive China-level blocking and censorship. And everyone there simply

      • I know a guy from the UAE, where they have massive China-level blocking and censorship. And everyone there simply has at least one VPN

        But will they cut his head off if the VPN or downloaded content is found on his system?

    • Indeed, it's one of the strengths of Blogger/blogspot that it's all-for-one-and-one-for-all.

      On censorship, I'd rather rely on Google than my government. So far.

    • by mikael (484)

      I believe you can actually register certain domain names (like .homelinux.org) and have the IP address defined to any address you like...
      So blocking the DNS lookup isn't going to help. It would have been simpler just to lock the blog accounts and change the file permissions, but it's probably just easier pulling the power cable out of the wall.

    • by hjf (703092)

      Groupon was blocked the other day for offering travel discounts. You can't sell anything travel-related if you're not a registered travel agency in Argentina (you get a .tur.ar domain for your website). I'm not sure how they blocked it but groupon simply vanished off the net. NXDOMAIN even in other DNS servers... I was too busy to investigate further, but it was a bit surprising.

      (it wasn't censor, they were sued by travel agencies and in the meantime the judge ordered them to be blocked - if they were a phy

  • No Streisand effect? Come on I want to know what was it they wanted to block!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you're outside Argentina, go see for yourself: http://leakymails.com

      If you're in Argentina, here are the official mirrors [leakymails.com]:
      http://leakymails.tk
      http://leakymails1.tk
      http://leakymails2.tk
      http://justiciainutil.tk

      Here's an article about LeakyMails: Argentina: Judge orders all ISPs to block the sites LeakyMails.com and Leakymails.blogspot.com [globalvoicesonline.org]

      Using the motto “Let’s stop lies and hypocrisy”, Leakymails.com was a project designed to obtain and publish relevant documents exposing corruption of

  • IPV6 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_rajah (749499) * on Saturday August 20, 2011 @06:59PM (#37157098) Homepage
    This makes a good case for IPV6 so every site/device will have their own IP instead of sharing one IP for a million blogs.
    • Re:IPV6 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @07:26PM (#37157248)

      This makes a good case for IPV6 so every site/device will have their own IP instead of sharing one IP for a million blogs.

      I'm afraid you came away from this story having learned the wrong lesson.
      The fix isn't IPV6, the fix is to abolish censorship.

      The only cure for bad speech is good speech, not no speech.

      • Dude, this was not censorship. The blocked websites had private emails from private email accounts of government officials, journalists, celebrities, detailing such things as income (public for a government official, not for a journalist or celebrity), when they pickup the kids at school, etc. This is a clear violation of a citizens privacy, the equivalent of intercepting paper correspondance and publish it in a newspaper. Luckily in Argentina, and many other countries in the world, this is forbidden.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's also a case of trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Besides, it is still censorship, just because it is legal and you happen to agree with it, doesn't make it not censorship.

          • by znerk (1162519)

            just because it is legal and you happen to agree with it, doesn't make it not censorship.

            QFT, and /signed.

            Waiting patiently to be modded into oblivion, even though "I hate censorship" is actually on-topic, and "you should hate censorship, too" is actually relevant.
            Slashdot censors its own...

        • Dude, this was not censorship.

          Of course it was. Cencorship is any time anything published by an entity is removed from the view of the general populace against the wish of the original publisher, regardless of whether the content itself is legal or not.

        • Re:IPV6 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Alsee (515537) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @01:37AM (#37158896) Homepage

          Dude, this was not censorship. The blocked websites had private emails

          It's amazing how so many people always imagine "I agree with X therefore X is not censorship".

          Imagine someone said "Bob's arm wasn't amputated, it was removed because it was cancerous". Ok.... cancer could be a very good motivation for removing an arm. However I assume you'd agree that the "Bob's arm wasn't amputated" part was wrong and ridiculous.

          The motivation for removing the arm does not change whether or not it's an act of amputation. The motivation for blocking the website doesn't change whether or not it is an act of censorship.

          If you want to make the case that it was justified and right under these circumstances, that's a very credible and reasonable position. However saying "it's not censorship" is not only wrong, it's dangerous. Basically everyone in history who has engaged in any sort censorship believed they had a good reason for it, considered it right and good, and virtually all of them have uttered the line "it's not censorship". The attitude "It's not censorship because it should be done, because it's a bad thing being blocked, because I'm the good guy with a good reason". Essentially "It's not censorship when I want to do it".

          If you think it's right and justified in this case, then go ahead and defend it as right and justified. Don't do the "I agree with it therefore it's not censorship" garbage.

          -

        • by xenobyte (446878)

          Privacy? - There may be some private material but I doubt it would have been leaked unless there was sonething juicy and newsworthy in there - and that in itself justifies the leak.

          Now, anyone here know what's in those leaked materials? - Something newsworthy like we saw it with the stuff leaked on Wikileaks?

      • by adolf (21054)

        The only cure for bad speech is good speech, not no speech.

        So we all should counter crimethink with goodthink? Wouldn't it be gooder to get rid of crimethink altogether, so we would only have goodthink?

        You are not thinkful enough. Crimethink is always doubleplusungood.

      • by houghi (78078)

        The only cure for bad speech is good speech, not no speech.

        I have not idea why the two sites where asked to be shut down. For all I know because they hosted malware directed at specific Argentinian banks.

        So in this case IPv6 would have been better as there is no proof of censorship.

    • by Alsee (515537)

      This makes a good case for IPV6 so every site/device will have their own IP instead of sharing one IP for a million blogs.

      I disagree. I'd say it makes a weak case against IPV6. Making censorship easier and more efficient and less noticeable and less objectionable is not good.

      But as I said, it's a weak case. There are many other strong reasons why we do need to replace IPv4.

      -

    • This makes a good case for IPV6 so every site/device will have their own IP instead of sharing one IP for a million blogs.

      If a website is being hosted by a web hosting service, how does that solve this problem? Was the original problem that the Blogger sites that ended up being banned were behind a NAT - in other words, were each of the hosts on a separate web server on a LAN, or were each blogspot server hosting a bunch of their publishers? I'll bet it was a combination of both - the leakyemail account may have been sharing it w/ several other blogs, but there may have been a bunch of servers alongside it sharing 216.239.32

  • Title inaccurate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @07:57PM (#37157412)

    A judge in Argentina ordered ISPs to block two websites -- leakymails.com and leakymails.blogspot.com. According to Google, many ISPs have simply blocked the IP 216.239.32.2 instead of using a targeted DNS filter.

    "Argentina" didn't do anything. The government didn't pass a law. A judge ordered two URLs to be blocked.

    Idiot ISPs blocked an IP address that led to a million blogs.

    The title should read: Inept Argentinian ISPs Block a Million Blogs Rather Than Blocking Two URLs to Satisfy Court Ruling

    • by hjf (703092)

      "Argentina" hasn't done anything to fix it either.

      • "Argentina" hasn't done anything to fix it either.

        Umm, one can argue about the legality or effectiveness of the judge's order in this case, but I don't see evidence that Argentina has a general record of endorsing blanket internet censorship, as the ISPs have done here. In fact, quite the opposite. See the Wikipedia article on "Internet Censorship by Country" [wikipedia.org] where Argentina is included in the list under "No Evidence of Censorship":

        Not individually classified by ONI, but is included in the regional overview for Latin America.

        Technical filtering of the Internet is uncommon in Argentina. The regulation of Internet content addresses largely the same concerns and strategies seen in North America and Europe, focusing on combating the spread of child pornography and restricting child access to age-inappropriate material. As Internet usage in Argentina increases, so do defamation, hate speech, copyright, and privacy issues.

        And...

        Since the 1997 presidential declaration regarding "Free Speech on the Internet" that guarantees Internet content the same constitutional protections for freedom of expression, Argentina has become a haven for neo-Nazi and race-hate groups around the region.

        Sounds like, if anything, they have a more open policy toward internet freedom than many European countries, for examp

        • by hjf (703092)

          Technical filtering of the Internet is uncommon in Argentina

          I'm not sure what this actually means, is this supposed to include P2P? Because if it is, it's a lie.

          Telecom Argentina actively filters the Megaupload site. You get to the download page, wait 45 seconds, get the download link, and your file starts downloading.... at 0.1kbps until it times out.

          I happen to have two internet connections at home. The other one, from Fibertel, downloads the same file, at the same time, just fine.

          But in the other hand, F

          • I'm not sure what this actually means, is this supposed to include P2P? Because if it is, it's a lie.

            I didn't write the Wikipedia article. I don't claim to have any special knowledge of the status of general censorship in Argentina, but even if your claim is true, it sounds like an argument about ISP policy, not about "Argentina." Perhaps the Wikipedia article is inaccurate regarding individual ISP policy. Perhaps you believe the government should work harder to restrict the freedoms of private ISPs in order to guarantee stronger internet freedoms. There are certainly arguments to be made in that line,

            • by hjf (703092)

              Let me put it this way. My grandfather had a store in the 50s. One of those small-town stores where they sold everything from food to paint. It was doing just fine until he refused to hang the president's picture in the wall (Peron). After that, things went shitty. First they stopped supplying him with beer. Then sugar, flour... until he had to close the store and leave town with his family. That's how it was in the 40s-50s.

              The current government tries to pull similar tactics. If your company isn't "with" t

              • by The_Paya (1048300)

                The current government tries to pull similar tactics. If your company isn't "with" the government, they won't kill you or anything... you're just "more likely" to get thugs at your warehouses doors and keep trucks with your products from leaving your factory.

                That's what Clarin says. What the Moyano Mafia does it's twisted well enough to turn the blame to the government, instead of putting it on the true responsible (which is the union alone). It's the union who provides "support" for the government, not the other way around, like Clarin its been desperate to demonstrate with yellow propaganda.

                They are in a war against Grupo Clarin right now. Clarin owns a newspaper (Clarin), ISP (Fibertel), TV stations (Canal 13, TN, Volver, and a few others), Cable (Cablevision), AM and FM national coverage radios, and they also own a lot of shares of the (oops) only newspaper paper factory in the country (so they get paper at a discount price).

                You're missing the other 300+ companies that "belong" in one way or another to Clarin. Which dominates media distrbution (cable/fm/am/papers) everywhere in the country, wi

                • by hjf (703092)

                  This is a clear example of a person who watches 6-7-8 and likes to believe everything the government says.

                  The problem with people like this is that they have polarized opinions. Either you agree 100% with the government or you agree 100% with Clarin. There's no middle point. This government puts itself in a "trendy" position. It's "cool" to think like the government does. So if you don't think like the government tells you, you aren't cool. You are a loser. These people just can't seem to find a middle grou

              • by Lisandro (799651)

                As a fellow Argentinian i can confirm this is a pretty accurate description of the political climate on my country nowadays. This administration (and the previous one) have managed to turn every issue in the country into a small crusade. You're either with us or with the enemy.

                I'm pretty worried about how our political institutions have degraded over the past 10 years.

        • by hjf (703092)

          I forgot to mention, there's no free speech protection in Argentina. You can't make jew jokes (Family Guy style) or pro-Nazi declarations. there's the INADI (National Institute against Discrimination) which sues anyone who does that. Except if it's against the catholic church: against them, everything goes.

          A few years ago (I even submitted a story about this to Slashdot) they tried to pass a law requiring ISPs to log every website visit by every person for 10 years. It was so wrong, the president had to sig

          • Thanks for this. I didn't read this before I wrote my reply to your previous post.

            Anyhow, this is interesting. But I still wonder whether you think the government is happy with over a million blogs being censored here? Surely some of those blogs held positive views about the government as well as negative ones....

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @09:26PM (#37157854)

    Never attribute to malice, what you can attribute to stupidity.

    Someone must've honestly thought that one IP = one site. One can only wonder how someone that stupid can work on ISP networking.

  • banning entire blocks of addresses is ridiculously overzealous, injust, and indicates laziness and ignorance on the part of the administrator.

    that didnt make me any friends in the irc ops.

    • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @10:06PM (#37158056) Journal

      banning entire blocks of addresses is ridiculously overzealous, injust, and indicates laziness and ignorance on the part of the administrator.

      Or a crafty way to let make the whole country aware of the censorship.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      How do you know they banned an entire block of addresses? They may have just banned one - 216.239.32.2 - and if all/some of the web servers hosting Blogger were behind a NAT leading to this, that could have resulted in all these addresses being blocked. In the previous post, Luckyo thought that anyone who honestly thought that 1 IP = 1 site is stupid. Such people may not have factored in NAT, or may have, but assumed that leakyemails might just rename and rehost itself on Blogger - maybe another server -
  • I'm sure there are a few others on here who have Blogger-hosted blogs that had their own host and FTP, and had to go through the 'switch', where Blogger hosts the blog (and you have to re-point your DNS/folder/etc), and no longer allowing blogs to be posted via FTP.

    This makes it that much more of a pain, if something as simple as this can block so many Blogger-hosted blogs, including many that might have been self-hosted previously.

  • If they did use DNS filtering, we'd be laughing at them because it is ridiculously ineffective.

    (So is this, of course. Using a proxy is no more difficult than switching your DNS server, if not less.)

  • by Lisandro (799651) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:26AM (#37161064)

    The past 8 years on Argentina have been strange, to put it mildly. I've never seen people so polarized about the current administration (and the previous one, which was the current Presidents' husband) in my life. Roughly 50% will approve anything the government does, while the rest will not hesitate to note that we have a very poorly managed economy, the second highest inflation rate in the world, weakened institutions and a new case of official corruption coming to light every other week.

    This blockade was due to a court ruling regarding a site called LeakyMails, which supposedly posted hacked mails between government officials. These weren't exactly flattering, to put it mildly. I honestly don't know about the legality of such mails going public (i beleive that all communications between public employees regarding their work should be available to the citizenship), but this is another misstep on an long list of poor decisions. Very poor ones.

    For example, the official crusade against "opposing" media is way worse than this - one of Argentinas' main media conglomerates had, over the course of two years:

    - One of its main distribution plants for newspaper blocked by trucks affiliated with the transport union (CGT),
    - One of its main directives harassed for several years under accusations of having its sons being illegally adopted during the last military dictatorship in the 70s. Not a single shred of evidence was ever presented for this, other than suspicious timings- Recent DNA analysis has proven this to be false.
    - An official ruling which impossibilited the sale of one of their newspapers in the Central Market of Buenos Aires,
    - Revoked its contract to televise soccer matches, which is now handled directly by the government which pays an astronomic cost each year with taxpayers money.
    - A new media law passed with shady articles, tailored specifically to hurt this conglomerate. Several of them are currently in hold after being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    We're living some crazy times down here. The Leakymails fiasco is yet another item in a very long list of poor decisions taken by a government which i feel it will remembered as one of the worse we ever had in a couple of years.

    • by Nicopa (87617)

      Just writing to point out the parent comment has loads of false information.

      Some examples:

      The new media law (which he chooses to describe as "shady") only puts anti-trust measures we didn't have here in Argentina. It has been praised by UN free speech "UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression" Frank La Rue and by the NGO "Reporters Without Borders".

      The bit about Ernestina Herrera's sons are also false. That's an old issue form before the governm

      • by Lisandro (799651)

        Just writing to point out the parent comment has loads of false information (...)

        My information is spot-on accurate, sorry. I agree about the merits of the new media law (it has some), but disregarding it was tailor made to hurt the Clarin group is naive, at best. The congress is supposed to be made up mostly by lawyers, and they managed to pull a law in a couple of months through both chambers with clearly unconstitutional articles.

        Other countries have passed similar legislation regarding media after years of debate, the US included. In Argentina it became a done deal in little over th

        • by Nicopa (87617)

          Don't lie, please. It gets tired.

          You had said "shady law", now you talk about its merits. Now you recognize an "irregular adoption", but you had previously said "no evidence"... Let's stop this conversation... It's useless... ok? =/

          The only reason you got modded up it's because you sounded interesting. Don't take advantage of people now knowing about Argentina to get karma.. =)

          • by Lisandro (799651)

            The only reason you got modded up it's because you sounded interesting. Don't take advantage of people now knowing about Argentina to get karma.. =)

            Ok, now you're being a moron. It's a law with over 150 new articles which was written and passed in a never-seen-before hurry. Some of it is good. Some is not. And some is (as i explained) tailored to hurt a so-called enemy of the government. Feel free to raise your points to the Supreme Court which found such articles unconstitutional in the first place.

            I do re

        • by cpotoso (606303)
          YOU claim to say the truth... why should we believe you? On some of the pieces in which hard evidence is to be found (economy) you state Argentina's inflation is 2nd highest in the world, but if you see some independent observers such as http://www.tradingeconomics.com/inflation-rates-list-by-country [tradingeconomics.com], the latest data puts Argentina in a not nice place, but certainly not 2nd. On economic growth, Argentina has done pretty well considering the world's status. The latest IMF report (see http://en.wikipedia.o [wikipedia.org]
          • by Lisandro (799651)

            I suggest you dig a bit deeper. The official inflation in Argentina is around 12% anually, which is a number computed by the INDEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos, or National Institue of Statistics and Census). This organism is under official intervention since 2007, and it hasn't been providing accurate indicators since then. Actual inflation rates in Argentina are around 25%, which indeed is a tad under Venezuela.

            I know this sounds ludicrous, but it is the truth. It's gotten so bad that any c

            • by cpotoso (606303)
              I have deep knowledge of Argentina, do not get fooled. You now even contradict yourself too "Argentina isn't doing well. The economic growth indexes are indeed impressive, but are tied solely to the international increase of soy prices." Please do tell me who in the world is growing at above 9% now? Who is growing at all when in the last 4 years we've had deep recession everywhere? (and this with significant "stimulus spending" by governments everywhere). So please stop the non-sense.
              • by Lisandro (799651)

                Check out Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Chile and even Brazil, right on the same link you provided, for South American examples of countries with a comparable (or greater!) GDP growth than Argentina.

          • by Lisandro (799651)

            Check also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_of_Statistics_and_Census_of_Argentina#Controversy [wikipedia.org] , which is a fairly accurate description of how the INDEC falsifies indexes, basically scamming bearers of Argentinan bonds tied to GDP growth and inflation.

            It's sad, but for almost 5 years now my country has no reliable official indicators for anything related to the economy.

            • by cpotoso (606303)
              Note, my statistics are not from INDEC. I know they are not trustworthy... (this is, indeed, one of the most stupid things this government did: to mess up with the indices).
              • by Lisandro (799651)

                The pages you quoted cite information sourced by the IMF. Argentina, being currently an IMF member, provides it with statistics and indicators directly through the INDEC itself. It's its function, after all.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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