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Venezuela's Government Blocks Access To Wikipedia

Saturday January 19, 2019. 11:34 PM , from Slashdot
Haaretz (with contributions from Reuters and the Associated Press) reports:
According to NetBlocks, a digital rights group that tracks restrictions to the internet, as of 12 January, Venezuela largest telecommunications provider CANTV has prevented access to Wikipedia in all languages. The internet observatory told Haaretz the ban was discovered by attempting 'to access Wikipedia and other services 60,000 times from 150 different points in the country using multiple providers.'
Roughly 16 million people have access to the internet in the South American country ravaged by poverty and now facing a political crisis as leader Nicolas Maduro attempts to cling to power following a highly contested re-election last year. Wikipedia receives on average 60 million views from the country every month.
According to NetBlocks, the ban was likely imposed after a Wikipedia article listed newly-appointed National Assembly president Juan Guaidà as âoepresident number 51 of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,â ousting Maduro from his presidential status on Wikipedia... Alp Toker, the head of NetBlocks, explained to Haaretz that the block followed a string of controversial edits on the Spanish-language article for Guaido as well as other related articles.

Long-time Slashdot reader williamyf identifies himself as 'a Venezuelan in Venezuela.' He reports that 'The method used seems to be to intercept the SSL handshake and not a simple DNS block,' adding 'the situation is developing.'
In May of last year the government declared a 'state of emergency' that authorized the government to police the internet and filter content, rights activists reported Monday. They added that now Venezuela's new leaders plan to introduce legislation requiring messaging service providers to censor content, and implementing other so-called 'content security' measures.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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