Venezuela’s parliament approved tighter regulation of the internet on Monday in the latest of a package of laws to entrench President Hugo Chavez’s socialist “revolution” before a new Assembly is sworn in next month.
The bill prohibits online content attacking “good customs”, disrespecting public officials or inciting violence against the president.
Many of Venezuela’s lively news forums currently operate without a moderator or editor filtering out extremist or vulgar content.
But under the new regulations, all internet traffic is supposed to pass through a single, government-controlled access point.
The bill has stoked opposition fears about surveillance and censorship and concerned some free speech activists, who have drawn comparisons with how China and Cuba police the web.
Chavez is the new Castro. I doubt he will ever surrender power.