The censorship imposed by Nicolás Maduro against Infobae is not an isolated incident. The Venezuelan regime has done the same thing before to local and international media. In the last few years, other publications have been “disconnected” from the Internet all around the world. But the problem of censorship against the press has a solution.
A government’s censorship against a media outlet is a bureaucratic tool that could become obsolete if technology is used and organized the right way. Some media outlets have the resources to do it, others do not, and they go down in history as victims of censorship and whose freedom of expression has been restricted.
For a few days now, Infobae has been made available again to Venezuelan readers because it created a technical platform that bypasses censorship every time that the Bolivarian regime tries to apply it. It’s no different to the many different techniques that online piracy has been using to become “unstoppable” around the world. But Infobae could do this because it had the chance to assemble a team and resources tasked with working against Maduro’s censorship. Other media outlets do not have that choice.
We should be able to imagine, design and set in motion a global alliance for the freedom of the press, open to media outlets, the United Nations and key players in the technology market like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter, just to mention some.
It would represent a technical hideout built by the most prestigious companies, with the support of the UN, and a place where any media outlet being censored around the world could run to.
In such a case, a government would not be censoring a media outlet. They would be censoring the UN and massive services such as Google and Facebook. Censoring the press, in this case, would have a massive repercussion on a global scale, since it would be not just blocking access to a site, but to social media and the UN. Censoring the press would be censoring a large portion of the internet.
That global alliance, that technical refuge, would leave without any effect not all of them, but at least many of the attacks that the press suffers around the world.
Many journalists and programmers would happily help to build a project with the goal of using technology to guarantee freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
The Internet cannot be a global registry of those who have been victims of censorship. The Internet is the most powerful tool when it comes to protecting freedom of the press. What will we be using it for?