VENEZUELA'S BIGGEST ISP has blocked the entire Tor network that allows users to access the dark/deep web, making censors worldwide shout, "wait, we can do that?".
Tor (redundantly the acronym for The Onion Router) is used by many internet users as a means to protect their browsing history from their ISP and indeed further afield.
But now the largest internet provider (ISP) in the country, CANTV - which just happens to be the one owned by the government - is blocking access to Tor and its ilk.
Why would they do this? Well, it's pretty simple - news. The censorship in the country has been subject to intensive tightening recently following continuing protests over the government, austerity, and poverty and the likes of CNN are not part of the government's plan.
Criticism of the open internet has been an issue in the country for some time.
"It seems that the government of Venezuela has found out how to do a very sophisticated block for the Tor network. It's not only on the direct access channels, but also the bridges Tor provides to bypass that blocking," said Melanio Escobar, Venezuelan technologist, journalist and founder of Redes Ayuda. "The government is moving forward to be as closed as China or Iran."
The news was first reported by civil rights movement Access Now, whose Latin America Policy Lead, Javier Pallero added: "Restricting access to information, and the tools necessary to access that information safely is a flagrant violation of human rights by the Venezuelan government,
"We call on Venezuela's government to reverse course, refrain from imposing further censorship, and to restore the free and open communications that are vital to any healthy democracy."
The Venezuelan government declared a state of emergency in 2016, and are yet to lift it, using it as a way to pass laws they probably wouldn't have got away with otherwise.
Any Venezuelans reading can get help with bypassing the latest restrictions from here. μ
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