National Commission of Telecommunications
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The National Commission of Telecommunications (Conatel) is an agency of the
government of Venezuela Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of s ...
that exercises the regulation, supervision and control over
telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication ov ...
in
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
.


History

The Telecommunications Act, enacted on June 12, 2000, gave the Venezuelan state power to regulate the sector of the National Telecommunications Commission. This Commission was initially created by the # 1,826 Decree of September 5 of 1991 (Official Gazette No. 34.801 of 18 September 1991) attributing the character of autonomous service without legal personality, and the hierarchy of a Directorate General of the Ministry Transport and Communications, which replaced the National Telecommunications Council (CNT).


Controversies


Censorship

Reporters Without Borders Reporters Without Borders (french: Reporters sans frontières; RSF) is an international non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entit ...

Reporters Without Borders
warned of "rising
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
in Venezuela's Internet service, including several websites and social networks facing shutdowns". They condemned actions performed by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) after Conatel restricted access to websites with the unofficial market rate and "demanded social networks, particularly Twitter, to filter images related to protests taking place in Venezuela against the government". However, the Venezuelan government published a statement saying that they did not block Twitter or images on Twitter, and implied that it was a technical problem. In November 2013 the Venezuelan telecommunications regulator, CONATEL, began ordering ISPs to block websites that provide the black market exchange rate. ISPs must comply within 24 hours or face sanctions, which could include the loss of their concessions. Within a month ISPs had restricted access to more than 100 URLs. The order is based on Venezuela's 2004 media law which makes it illegal to disseminate information that could sow panic among the general public."Venezuela forces ISPs to police Internet"
John Otis, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 12 December 2013.
During the 2014 Venezuelan protests, Colombian news channel NTN24 was taken off the air by CONATEL for "promoting violence"."Señal del canal NTN24 fue sacada de la parrilla de cable"
("NTN24 channel signal was taken from the wire"), ''El Universal'', 13 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.


Surveillance

In 2014, multiple Twitter users were arrested and faced prosecution due to the tweets they made. Alfredo Romero (activist), Alfredo Romero, executive director of the Venezuelan Penal Forum (FPV), stated that the arrests of Twitter users in Venezuela was a measure to instill fear among those using social media that were critical against the government. In October 2014, eight Venezuelans were arrested shortly after the death of PSUV official Robert Serra. Though the eight Venezuelans were arrested in October 2014, the Venezuelan government had been monitoring them since June 2014 according to leaked documents, with the state telecommunications agency CONATEL providing IP addresses and other details to the Venezuelan intelligence agency SEBIN in order to arrest Twitter users.


See also

*Media in Venezuela


References

{{authority control Government agencies of Venezuela Telecommunications in Venezuela