Regional updates: Latin America

What were the main digital policy regional updates in Latin America? This space brings you the main updates month by month, summarised by the observatory's curators.

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June 2018

Curated by Cláudio Lucena

Tor network block

25 Jun 2018 |  Content policy, Freedom of expression

Journalists and non-governmental organisations have reported that the Tor network has been blocked by Venezuela’s largest state-owned Internet service provider CANTV. Traffic on the Tor network had recently increased in the country, following blocks that had affected news outlets. Activists said that the first blocks could be avoided by simply changing DNS settings to an international server, while a second wave of blocks demanded the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and the anonymous browsing capabilities of the Tor network to circumvent the ban. According to technical evidence collected and presented by local activists, a more complex measure was then taken, blocking vanilla connections as well as obfs3 and obfs4 bridges, with a high rate of success in preventing users from accessing the Internet.​

National cybersecurity strategies

21 Jun 2018 |  Network security

The governments, the private sector and the civil society in the Dominican Republic and in Guatemala have worked together for almost two years, with the support from Organization of American States (OAS), through the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) and the Cyber Security Program, and have now joined eight other Latin American countries in putting a national cybersecurity strategy in place. Their aim is to contribute to a cyberspace that is safer for citizens, businesses and public administration in the countries. For Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the OAS, the adoption of the strategies is an important first step, but it is only the beginning of a process that should continue developing security capabilities for cyberspace, always taking into account the voices of the relevant stakeholders.​

GDPR and Latin America

29 May 2018 |  Privacy and data protection

The coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has already triggered repercussions in Latin America, a region where the GDPR is influencing other reform initiatives, as is the case with Argentina reviewing their data protection legal framework. On 29 May, the first data protection bill was finally approved by the lower house in the Brazilian Parliament. The bill reflects many of the approaches, tools and mechanisms of the GDPR, although there is still a bit of uncertainty concerning certain issues, for example, the legal nature and shape of the national data protection authority. The bill still has to go through the Senate on a second reading, but both the government and the opposition have already stated that it is a priority, which makes it very likely that Brazil will have its first data protection law by the end of the year.​

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