Chavez dismisses censor on Internet in Venezuela

The South American leftist leader's called a week ago for some controls on the Internet.

Chavez dismisses censor on Internet in Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez on Sunday said Web use had shot up more than nine fold during his decade in power, dismissing censor or limit on the Internet in Venezuela.

The South American leftist leader's called a week ago for some controls on the Internet.

But Chavez, speaking on his weekly "Hello President!" television program, denied that, and said he was merely calling for controls against illegal use of the Web, similar to other nations trying to tackle cyber-criminality.

Internet subscriptions had risen from 274,000 in 2000 to 585,000 by the end of 2009, Chavez said, while users had risen more than nine-fold over the same period from 820,000 to 7.5 million.

"No one mentions that. On the contrary, the news flies around the world that we are going to finish off the Internet, that we are going to restrict the service," Chavez said, during a ceremony to inaugurate a free community Internet service.

"It's false, of course."

Chavez said a recent report of the deaths of two allies, and calls for a coup against him, were what had instigated his concern over Internet use in Venezuela.

A user of news site Noticierodigital falsely said earlier this month that "a senior minister had been assassinated", prompting some private Web sites in Venezuela to block user comments or heighten internal controls.

"The Internet is a trench in the struggle, because there's a conspiracy current building up. It's as if they had a gun, a cannon," Chavez said. "They use so many pages and blogs, and terms like Blackberry and Twitter, these conspiracy currents."

Chavez urged his supporters to turn themselves, too, into soldiers on the Internet.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mart 2010, 00:27

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