Simeon Tegel asks, Is Ecuador’s president using U.S. law to censor critics?
Ecuadoreans who dare to post content critical of Correa and his government on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook say they are finding their images and videos systematically targeted and taken down.
Even more unexpected is the justification being given time and again: the supposed violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998.
The law, intended to combat online piracy, holds Internet companies liable for copyright violations they host, however unwittingly. It also establishes a fast track “notice and takedown” process for rights holders to inform social networks and search engines when copyright is being breached.
As a result, those websites now automatically remove the content, and even close down repeat violators’ accounts. In practice, democracy activists say, that’s allowing a repressive government to shut down many of its online critics.
Human Rights Watch says this would be the latest move in Ecuador’s “deplorable free speech record.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists has more on Ecuador.