Ecuador: Article 8 and internet freedom

Posted on May 3, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador, Internet, Politics reported according to a leaked internal memo of the multinational ISP Telefónica in Ecuador, the Association of Internet Providers of Ecuador (AEPROVI) collaborated with the Ecuadorian government to block their users’ access to websites. The memo was obtained and published by the Associated Whistleblowing Press and the Ecuadorian whistleblowing platform, Ecuador Transparente.

The memo describes how on March 28, 2014, between 7:20 pm and 7:53 pm, a technician received reports of users unable to access Google and YouTube. It explains that Telefónica staff verified the accessibility issues and reported them to Telefónica’s Network Operations Center (NOC). The NOC then confirmed that these websites were inaccessible due to AEPROVI “blocking access to certain Internet websites by request of the National Government.” The leaked document explains that many clients were affected, prompting AEPROVI to roll back its website blocking in order to remedy the situation.


The memo confirms that the Ecuadorean state can—and has—ordered domestic Internet service providers to block websites. It is consistent with previous claims of Internet censorship by the government (see here1 and here2). Similarly, we’ve seen before how Ecuadorian officials have used foreign law firms to send copyright takedowns to remove dozens of websites, tweets, documentaries, and search results that it disapproves of.

Article 8 of the Telecommunications Act allows the president to unilaterally decree a State of Emergency under vague standards and order content blocking without oversight by an independent and impartial court. Read Article

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