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Internet Shutdown Adds To Venezuela's Woes 194

Posted by timothy
from the if-weren't-for-that-pernicious-free-market dept.
Slashgear reports that many state-run internet links in Venezuela have been shut down by that country's government, as censorship efforts there step up along with widespread turmoil, partly in the form of widespread anti-government protests. The article begins: "Don’t expect one whole heck of a lot of tweets coming out of Venezuela in the immediate future as President Nicolas Maduro’s government has shut down the internet and select TV channels. Having shut down Twitter access for the area this past week, Venezuela’s state-run ISP CANTV has been cut in areas such as San Cristobal. This area is a regional capital in the west of the country and CANTV controls the vast majority of internet connectivity in the area. The Electronic Frontier Foundation made note that Venezuelans working with several different ISPs lost all connectivity on Thursday of this past week. Users lost connectivity to the major content delivery network Edgecast and the IP address which provides access to Twitter’s image hosting service while another block stopped Venezuelan access to the text-based site Pastebin."
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Internet Shutdown Adds To Venezuela's Woes

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  • This is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skatox (1109939) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @10:26PM (#46314123) Homepage
    I'm Venezuelan and I live in San Cristobal, my Internet service was cut 36 hours by my ISP (Cantv which is the biggest in the country and fastest, but it's owned by the goverment). This was due to prevent comunication because my city is one with the most prostest in the country, also, a the same time where it was shutdown, the Minister of Defence annouced militar strategies to control riots in the city. People are using Twitter and Zello app, to comunite and to know what's happening because traditional media is not publishing this events.
    • by epyT-R (613989)

      How are you using twitter if you don't have internet access?

    • How is it that Maduro and his allies can continue to persist with economic policies so patently stupid that even an undergraduate student of economics at any American or European university can predict and explain their inevitable failures? I mean bare supermarket shelves in a country with some of the largest oil reserves in the Southern Hemisphere? That's humiliating. How can Maduro possibly explain this with a straight face other than to admit that currency controls and confiscation of private property fo

      • by johanw (1001493)

        Because those economic policies are dictated by different premises. Not "maximise the profit for the big companies and their managers" but "maximise the living standard for the poor". Not everyone likes that of course, perhaps he has underestimated the way the rich and the US are trying to sabotage his policy.

        • Who is hurt most by empty shelves at the supermarket or shortages of even such basic items as cooking oil, toilet paper and milk? Is it big business or the poor? As much as Maduro and the Chavistas would love to blame the US for "sabotaging" their socialist paradise, they have none but themselves to blame for the obvious harms visited upon the economy or the sufferings of ordinary Venezuelans in whose interests they claim to be acting.
          • by johanw (1001493)

            And whose fault are those empty shelves? The US and the powerfull rich in Venezuele are actively sabotaging the country. Kilobug explains it nicely here: http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

            And for other examples, look at the economic blockade of Cuba by the US. The country is not threatening at all to the US but they have a different economic religion than the US has so the regime has to go.

            • Clearly "the rich" should pile more goods onto those shelves to be sold at a loss. If they refuse, then soldiers should point guns at them to force them to do so. If entities from outside the country subsequently refuse to continue shipping in goods, after all the "rich" people's money is gone, clearly the UN will have to be empowered to force these outside companies to ship more goods, at a loss, into Venezuela.

        • by schnell (163007)

          he has underestimated the way the rich and the US are trying to sabotage his policy.

          Of course it's somebody else's fault, preferably the US. I mean, it's just not possible that Chavez and then Maduro were running a terribly unsustainable economic model where they got very popular by subsidizing consumer goods with massive oil profits and then as soon as oil prices went down the country was exposed to the real economic world, is it?

          Here's a pretty good explanation of the situation economically [forbes.com].

      • Because this sort of politics is not based on using rational understanding of the world to make good governmental decisions to achieve some goal, it's based on group dynamics. Look at how the US and 'saboteurs' are blamed for everything, and how people are prepared to attack others for mere membership or association with the other group. It's about orchestrating an us and a them, creating insiders to fight and to hate for you to defend your tribe, so the powerful can keep themselves there.

        It seems like some

      • by alantus (882150)

        How is it that Maduro and his allies can continue to persist with economic policies so patently stupid that even an undergraduate student of economics at any American or European university can predict and explain their inevitable failures?

        Stupid or genius? Depends on the goal.
        If its to improve the economy and life quality, plain stupid. If its to stay in power forever, genius!

        1. Ruin the economy, make people poor and easy to manipulate
        2. Create many social programs to "help" the poor, the poor depend on the state
        3. Confiscate and nationalize everything, the state must run as much as possible, have everyone working for the state
        4. Make it clear that they have to support and vote for you, or they lose their job and "hard earned" state b

      • How can Maduro possibly explain this with a straight face other than to admit that currency controls and confiscation of private property for redistribution to his supporters is not the way forward to economic prosperity?

        State-controlled media, which is all most people have access to, have kept pumping propaganda about how the downturn is due to an "economic war" waged by the capitalists to damage the government. Over 15 years the govt has managed to create a polarized climate where, if you disagree with the government, you're lying b/c you're a CIA shill. The poor are inclined to believe the government not just because of the 24/7 propaganda, but because they're uneducated and the government very overtly gives them minor a

  • by mattr (78516) <mattr AT telebody DOT com> on Saturday February 22, 2014 @10:51PM (#46314207) Homepage Journal

    So.. ham radio. Radio Club Venezolano. National Emergency Network. Satellite Dishes. ISS. Free hosting. Google... Facebook... friends.
    There are probably a bunch of ways to get information in/out of Venezuela, at least in a one-way burst.
    On the other hand http://www.yv5rcv.org/ [yv5rcv.org] tweets pane shows "Hmm, an empty timeline. That's wierd." Ouch.

  • by js3 (319268) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @10:53PM (#46314217)

    Only Madagascar can shut down everything

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22, 2014 @10:56PM (#46314221)

    I don't know why incumbent governments ever think this is a valid why to curb public sentiment. In every single situation where they try to do this to control the population it does the exact opposite and incites them to get off their lazy bottoms and rebel. They must not realize that cutting off internet access also cuts off pornography which means you have a lot of angry frustrated men with some serious aggression to work out roaming the streets. It is the worst move I can imagine.

    • by tsa (15680)

      When your government shuts down the internet you're sure they are there for themselves and not the people.

  • I'm from Venezuela. Ask me anything. :)

    Most of what you may want to ask is probably already covered here, tho: http://caracaschronicles.com/2... [caracaschronicles.com]

    BTW, full Internet shutdown seems to be in effect only in San Cristobal. In most other places, you can bypass the blocks by using the Tor Browser.

    • Thank you.

      Ok you naysayers, this is what /. is good for. Along with recycled jokes and car analogies of course.

    • by johanw (1001493)

      So, that's some prejudiced site. To quote:

      "Was Maduro fairly elected?

      No. Maduro’s party, PSUV, relies heavily on state resources to fund and execute their campaigns"

      Does not looks any worse than the US president election, where those who can get the most money from their followers (who expect something in return) gets elected. At least Maduro got the majority of votes, unlike required in some other "democratic" systems.

    • by Ardyvee (2447206)

      What do you think of the situation? Do you think that this time protesters will finally justify the lives lost or will they walk away with nothing (or worse)? Do you think the government will further escalate the arms race? Do you think the protesters will match the use of force?

  • https://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/... [pjmedia.com]

    Maduro wants no possibility of an Arab spring or Ukraine revolt

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      What I find quite interesting is how the media is *really* pushing hard on anything Ukraine related, but is damned quiet on anything relating to Venezuela.

      • by ruir (2709173)
        They are quiet until they are sure of the outcome. They dont want to broadcast a possible revolution live.
    • Maduro wants no possibility of an Arab spring or Ukraine revolt

      Cutting off the Internet didn't save the pre-revolution Egyptian Government and it won't save Maduro either. It's a sign of weakness.

  • So, a handful of people (the recent "protests" were in the number of hundreds, maybe a few thousands at most, nothing of a big and massive popular protest, as Venezuela had in the past, with both opposition and chavistas massing hundred of thousands, even millions) violently protest, attack public infrastructure (city halls, metro stations, hospitals, ...). People are killed - not by the police, but by the protesters, most of the death are _chavistas_ not opposition.

    Then, the opposition start a massive medi

  • That government has to go... Chavez and those he brought into power are a cancer.

    And they can either cut it out or rot.

    Up to them to decide and do the deed one way or the other. But I'm done feeling sorry for people that don't fight oppression in their own backyard.

  • it will be interesting to see and learn what the long-term economic and social effects of these censorship attempts are. the effect of censorship is not just going to cut off the "pruhtesters", it'll cut off researchers from access to papers and equipment, businesses from the customers and suppliers, and, additionally, cut off government departments within venezuela from effective communication with each other in the day-to-day operations. looking further ahead i look forward to seeing whether other gover

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @06:54AM (#46315253)

    False information and no information to people in a country (ala the old Pravda in the USSR) as a means of achieving a politically repressive end is coming to a close.

    Cuba, Ukraine and Venezuela are the proving grounds to show that governments can no longer keep the free will of the populace from exerting itself.

    But the old dictators will hold on until they are thrown out. It could still take decades in some places where the dictatorship is effectively run by the military and they are the true power, like N. Korea.

    The trend of history is clear over the last 150 years as countries have moved to freer and freer elections. The king is dead.

  • one whole heck

    I was only expecting half a heck.

    How many shedloads is that?

  • Someone call Oliver Stone, he'll know what to do!

  • by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @08:52AM (#46315593)
    But hasn't Venezuela been turned into a socialist utopia by taking over and tossing out all the bourgeoisie. I see no reason for the government to need to censor the people who clearly benefit.
    • by johanw (1001493)

      They were not tossed out so now they're making trouble.

    • The bourgeoisie were not removed and retain a great deal of power outside of the government they used to own. It is a difficult situation where the poor try to setup a modern democracy with a more old-school marketplace without the established powers locally or abroad helping; in fact, they do things to undermine success. It's not good for multinational exploiters and power brokers like the IMF to have free countries succeed.

      It is pretty much human history, the ones with power will not be civil about reli

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