Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

Venezuela: the New China

Or, if the Government violates your rights but no one is allowed to speak publicly about it, has an injustice been committed?

Venezuela passes new law drastically limiting internet freedoms
by Xeni Jardin for Boing Boing at 3:24 PM Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010

The Venezuelan parliament has passed a law that bans any internet content that "promotes social unrest, challenges authority or condones crime." President Hugo Chavez's ruling party pushed the law through in less than a week. Snip from AFP:
The new law expands 2004 restrictions... [to] includes content from the Internet and electronic subscription services, making webpage managers "responsible for the information and content" published on their websites."

For more, including handy links to the text of the law, a government video, and other online mention, read the original at BoingBoing.

And here's another viewpoint, found while just happening to be proxying from Caracas (thank you Mr. Hinky Dink):


Los Domingos de Díaz Rangel
By: Eleazar Díaz Rangel
Release Date: 12/19/1910

Two issues relating to the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Law and the law spring.

First, remember that our Constitution prohibits anonymous. Already in 1947, adopted at the Constituent with the overwhelming majority of AD, is prohibited in Section 37, and in 1961, with 40 years of existence, is also contemplated that limitation, "may not be anonymous" (Art . 66). The 1999 Bolivarian literally kept this principle in Article 57.

As we all know, traditional media (newspapers, radio and TV) will always be an author responsible for the messages sent or posted, and when it is not the law places the burden on the directors, or those acting in their stead, the respective responsibility and eventually, the penalties. In contrast, social networks via Internet-circulated anonymous messages, some harmless information, but other defamatory or offensive. That loophole should be filled.

It is also in effect that "everyone has the right to freely express their thoughts, ideas and opinions ... no censorship shall be established, but it is equally clear that" anyone who uses this right assumes full responsibility for everything expressed. " Elemental. For example, you can not offend, insult, defame another person with impunity.

Secondly, it is also important to remember that for decades, centuries, say, press laws were almost always restrictive, seeking to punish those who do use "abuse" of press freedom, wherever there was. Again, it was so long, since the sixteenth century, when developing the press and journalism. It was not until well into the twentieth century when the first laws on broadcasting, of course, before there was no radio. Here in Venezuela, in June 1940 and operates eleven radio stations and it was when it passed the Telecommunications Act and its rules a year later, by extension applied to television since the 50s.

In the world, insofar as they become new media, emerging organizations and respective legislation. When multiplying communications satellites in August 1971, Intelsat was created that assumes international control.

More recently we are facing the expansion of the Internet. How many millions have access to their networks? Who is responsible for the messages sent? What happens to those who use them irresponsibly? What about those who spread blatant lies, pornography, racism, threaten the security of their country, slander or defame individuals? About defend the users?

The European Parliament approved over one year a set of restrictive provisions, and in 25 European countries have laws or regulations web pages "with political or social content considered dangerous." United States, let alone is sufficient to mention the Patriot Act.

If it did with other media in their respective times, it seems logical that here also legislate. Of course, taking care not to restrict freedom of opinion and reporting beyond the existing constitutional and legal provisions.

The talanquera
In politics it is common for MPs elected on a party list to change their political positions, leaving the party and remain independent, to join another or form a new one. In Venezuela we have more than enough examples. But contrary cases also occur, he or MPs keep their positions, and change occurs on the party line.

In 1947, when discussing the Constitution, several members of AD did not vote for the article on the election of state governors, contradicting the party line. In 1961 and 1963, the sharp internal differences in AD led to the division and appeared on MIR and the MEP, with many MPs. In either case, to whom they had disabled, to be in effect this new law? And, more recently, what to do when the MAS stopped supporting the Chavez government? Does that disqualify dissidents We created, or those who remained in the game? Which of these groups was consistent with their constituents?
The law does not cover cases when the party leadership that betrayed his constituency and takes a political line against the interests of the majority of its members and programs or policies that proclaimed in his campaign. In cases like these, which are also in our political history, members will disagree with such changes taking divergent positions of the party. How does the law apply? Who should be banned?
A parliamentary group is elected around a program of specific proposals and some generic, which, presumably, that candidates for deputies are identified. Party discipline required to vote in line with the party line, even when they share them, especially if you have been the product of a debate in the fraction. Each party will take measures to prevent anyone from leaving the line, or to apply appropriate sanctions.
The PSUV should know the experience of other countries and other parties, how they have faced and solved this type of dissent. In Uruguay, for example, years ago there were provisions that sanctioned with the loss of seat to congressmen who disagreed with party policy. I do not know if this provision remains.
The law or regulations should establish a kind "lealtómetro" or something similar. How many times will allow a member to vote against a proposal to disqualify the party before?

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