Latin America and the Caribbean CyberWatch – February 2013

February 27, 2013

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Categories: CyberWatch, Latin America and the Caribbean CyberWatch, News and Announcements

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Table of Contents


Argentina

Streaming Website Wins Court Case

A request filed by HBO Ole Partners to temporarily  block Cuevana, a popular streaming site for infringing on copyright, was rejected by the Federal Chamber Court II in Buenos Aires. The site came under fire for advertising the first two seasons of the television show ‘Epitafios’, for which they did not receive permission from HBO to promote or stream. The site offers a streaming plugin that allows users free access to films and televisions shows, but claims not to host any actual files, simply being an access point for content uploaded by others. The blocking request was thrown out by the Federal Court for being too broad, and because they have not been able to determine if the content on the site was uploaded by individual users, or managed by a  team at Cuevana. Cuevana is a hugely popular site in Argentina, with over 12 million monthly users, and its online fan base has protested the ruling, using the hashtag #concuevanaNO on Twitter.

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Brazil

Satirical News Blog Banned

Brazil courts have upheld a ruling to ban the satirical website Falha de Sao Paulo, which criticized the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo,  on the way the paper covered elections in 2010. Folha had sued the site’s creators, Mário and  Lino Bocchini, for mimicking their logo, content and design, and for “moral damages.” The bloggers were forced to shut the site down and pay a fine, but they appealed the ruling. On February 20, a judge from the Sao Paulo State Court upheld the ban. The bloggers have moved to the domain name “desculpeanossafalha.com.br” and have been posting messages of support from fans, who have also organized a protest on Facebook. This ruling sets a negative precedent in Brazil for Internet blocking and censorship. The ombudsman of Folha, Suzana Singer, has publicly disapproved of the paper’s decision to sue, saying that progressive media should not take action to restrict media expression.

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Cuba

Dissident Blogger Begins World Tour

After five years of denied passport attempts, Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez was granted permission to leave the country and has embarked on a world tour, with her first stop in Brazil. However, her arrival in Brazil was met with both support and protests when she landed at Guararapes International airport. Pro-Cuban regime demonstrators were gathered, chanting slogans claiming she was a “mercenary” and a CIA agent. Sanchez has plans to continue travelling to 11 other countries and to visit the headquarters of Internet giants of Google, Twitter and Facebook. Sanchez has already written a blog post about her experience in Brazil.

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Jamaica

Man Arrested in Hacking Case

A man was arrested for hacking the database of the Jamaican telecommunications company Digicel. The man allegedly had access to personal information and communications, such as text messages, and attempted to blackmail the company with this information. Jamaica’s Organized Crime Investigation Division has launched a probe into the matter to investigate claims that the hacking took place over an extended period of time. The same man who is in custody was previously arrested for hacking into Digicel and taking phone credit codes. Jamaican bloggers have speculated that the difficulty of getting past Digicel’s security firewall suggest that this hack was an inside security breach.

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Cayman Islands

Company Warns Against Phishing Scam

Telecommunications company LIME is warning customers of a phishing scam in the form of an email claiming to be from their company and requesting  personal information. The email tells customers that they have exceeded their email storage quota and instructs them to click on a link or their account will be deactivated. LIME has released statements warning customers to beware the scam and instructing them on how to avoid being targeted.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Technological Education Initiative Kicks Off

The controversial GATE e-Education Computer Tablet and e-Education Connectivity  program, which promises the distribution of tablet computers to secondary school students,  has launched in St Johns, Antigua. This initiative partners with Irish company Digicel with the aim of making the region technological hub, and to bring new technologies to students who would otherwise not have access to them. This initiative has been a controversial topic in Antigua, as parents are concerned that access to the Internet would lead to inappropriate use by their children. A content filter has  been installed on the tablets, as well as Notes Master, a free online learning resource. The government has released a Terms of Use guide for parents, which is available on their website.

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