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Venezuelan Politicians to Impose Restrictions on the Internet

Venezuela’s political top brass have imposed new broadcast regulations on the internet, preventing some types of online messages in a move that is being seen by some as a threat to freedom of speech.

The National Assembly approved revisions to the Social Responsibility Law, extending previously existing broadcast rules to the internet. It prevents messages and images that “disrespect public authorities”, ”incite or promote hatred” or crimes, or could create “anxiety in the citizenry or alter public order”.

It also rules that elctronic media must find way to implement the new procedures as soon as possible or else face being punished with fines.

The measure also changes the duration of broadcast licences from 20 to 15 years and provides the government with the power to pull the licence from any broadcaster that is found to have violated the new laws more than once.

The new laws will be a definite threat to the country’s anti-Chavez television station Globovision, which already has six cases pending against it.

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