Chavez defends plan for Internet regulations

Just relax. Your government is in charge!

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez defended plans for a law that would impose broadcast-type regulations on the Internet, saying Sunday that his government should protect citizens against online crimes.

Chavez’s congressional allies are considering extending the “Social Responsibility Law” for broadcast media to the Internet, banning messages that “disrespect public authorities,” “incite or promote hatred” or crimes, or are aimed at creating “anxiety” in the population.

Government opponents and press freedom groups have been critical of the plan, saying it is one of several measures being considered that could restrict freedoms in Venezuela.

“We aren’t eliminating the Internet here … nor censoring the Internet,” Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program, “Hello, President.” “What we’re doing is protecting ourselves against crimes, cybercrimes, through a law.”

AP Via Washington Post

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