Venezuela cyber crackdown ensnares Web's Bitly
FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2013 file photo, an anti-government protester in Caracas holds up a fake Venezuelan banknote that reads in Spanish, "This is the revolution. Poor Bolivar," with the value of 100 crossed out and 54 written next to it. Venezuelans have been scrambling for dollars as their bolivar currency is in free fall, selling on the black market for a tenth its official value. In response, the government is trying to block access to websites that Venezuelans use to track the black market exchange rate. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 12:00 am
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelans have been scrambling for dollars for weeks, taking refuge in the greenback as their own currency is in free fall. Rather than address the economic imbalances behind the bolivar's plunge, the government is going after the bearers of the bad news - it's blocking websites people use to track exchange rates on the black market.
Cyber-activists say the crackdown goes to absurd lengths, even targeting Bitly, the popular site for shortening Web addresses to make it easier to send them as links via Twitter and other social media. For more than two weeks, access to the service has been partially censored by several Internet service providers in Venezuela, apparently because Bitly was being used to evade blocks put on currency-tracking websites.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013 12:00 am.