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After Alleged Election Fraud and Protests, Honduran Congress Moves to Regulate Hate Speech Online

Vida, Melissa

Publisher:  Global Voices
Date Written:  10/02/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article

The Honduran Congress is debating a law that seeks to regulate hate speech and "fake news" on the Internet. Honduran activists and opposition political parties say the proposal would function as a gag law aimed at silencing government critics.



The law does not describe how, specifically, internet providers would implement such procedures, but it would require companies and administrators to submit a report on their efforts to a governmental commission, CONATEL, every three months. If they fail to do this, they can be fined up to 1 million lempiras (equivalent to USD 42,533) or have their website or account blocked altogether.

The proposed law also envisions a Cybersecurity Commission, made up of institutions such as the Defense Ministry, the Supreme Court, the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Honduras along with a Consultative Counsel which include human rights experts, journalists, lawyers and university organizations.

Marcos Bertilio Paz, the congressman from the majority party who put forth the proposal, justifies his motion as a protection from disruptive hate campaigns. Although he claims that everyone "can share content and opinions like before," many citizens and civil society groups question his motives.

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