Economic cyberwar

Pedro Maldonado, Director-General of CONATEL

Missing in the news whirlpool of the last few days was the recent online crackdown to shut down websites that informed (directly or indirectly) the prices of the black market foreign currency.

Last weekend, CONATEL opened an administrative investigation against eight Internet Service Providers and ordered them to take down those websites ASAP. So far, fifty sites have been blocked.

But that wasn’t the only action taken by CONATEL as part of the “economic offensive” recently launched by Nicolás Maduro. Its current head, Pedro Maldonado, met with the representatives of websites and a few days ago and reached with them an agreement to fight and control alleged price speculation, and to work together on a review of the legal framework.

Still, this new series of legal actions can be now added as part of the many, many problems with the quality of Internet in Venezuela. And speaking of quality (or lack thereof), there was another unexplained crash from State ISP Cantv ABA last Monday night. It wasn’t the first one this year, nor even the second. Perhaps, there’s a reason behind them all along.

Only time will tell if this crackdown was an one-off… or is a hint of a bigger clampdown.