Friday, March 27, 2009

Things getting worse: Censorship in Argentina

For three days now, Channel 13 (among the two most important TV channels in the country) , their TV channel TN and radio station Mitre have been suffering interference and scrambling, replaced by a black screen or the signal entirely gone.
The government is openly against this network and threatens its reporters and editors in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways.
Among the hundreds of networks in south America that use this same satellite, their signals are the only ones being affected.
For example this last couple of days, they were running a report about the thousands of cases of “Chagas” disease in the northern province of Chaco and showings footage of the people protesting that the province (K governor) wasn’t prepared to deal with the disease and that kids in the hospital are dehydrated.
Surprisingly, they signal in Chaco was scrambled and replace by a black screen.
Same happens when certain reports are tried to be aired internationally.
It’s been 3 days now since this started.
The investigation by the people in charge of the satellite concluded:
1) It only affects the signal of this news group
2) This has never happened before, ever.
3) The scrambling signal interfering in coming from South America.
I’ll also note that the signal is suddenly affected when negative news regarding the government is being aired.

I tried to find an article explaining this in English but didn’t find any.
This is very serious business. Such straightforward censorship is a very bad sign.



M said...

I've read your blog for several weeks, and I sit in my office in Dallas right now. Two people from here went to BA in the last three months. The girls had no issues, and one said that things can be bad anywhere you go in the world. She seemed a bit oblivious to things.

The guy said "everything was very safe. Well, I did get mugged the first day..."....

The last cause said...

FerFal, do they also have a webcast?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ferfal,
This is your friend from Boston. I was very surprised to see this article today.

'A woman was viciously attacked Friday afternoon in broad daylight.

Police are issuing a warning to female drivers in the Middleboro area after they said a man intentionally slammed his car into another vehicle and then attacked the woman inside.'

I have lived here all my life, and I can't recall hearing of another similar incident around here. But it sounded like something I would read here on your blog.

Does this sound like something that would be seen in Argentina at all? There is not much info about this yet. But it is very surprising on the face of it. This is a very rural town where this occured.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ferfal,

Here's a BabelFish translation of the Spanish news article:

Translated article

eskil said...

Dear FerFAL!
I'm not sure in what context you are writing "2) This has never happened before, ever."
If you mean that deliberate jamming of satellite news broadcasts have never happened before, I am sorry to tell you that you are wrong.
The Turkish military forces succeeded in jamming krudish news broadcasts from the scandinavian VIASAT network back in 1997. The jamming did not effect the networks scandinavian subscribers, but it did effect reception in eastern and southern Europe.

CapnRick said...

The censorship here is getting worse. And... it's not only here. Here is an example of how individual freedoms are deteriorating around the world... how governments are trying to stifle the internet.

The problem with shutting down internet searches for Maradona's name doesn't affect me much. But, shutting down searches for crooked judges making corrupt decisions and making Argentina's courts a joke... that's dangerous. It gives people with too much power additional reason to feel like they can get away with anything they want to do.