Ecuador: Leaked Documents reveal President used public funds to delete critical online content of him

Posted on September 25, 2015 • Filed under: Corruption, Ecuador, Intelligence, Internet, Politics

Ecuador’s President Used Millions Of Dollars Of Public Funds To Censor Critical Online Videos reported Exclusive: BuzzFeed News has seen leaked documents that reveal Rafael Correa used the intelligence budget to delete content critical of him and the first lady from YouTube, Facebook, and other sites.
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, used millions of dollars from his country’s intelligence budget to hire a foreign company to remove a documentary and other information critical of him or his wife from the internet, leaked documents show.

The records, seen by BuzzFeed News, show that at least one contract, for just under $4.7 million, was signed with a Mexican company that then successfully removed material from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.

Videos removed by the company, which filed weekly reports on successful deletions, included a critical documentary by filmmaker Santiago Villa, an electoral broadcast from a rival accusing Correa of behaving like a dictator, a video from a former aide to Correa’s wife alleging persecution, and a report of a jailbreak from Ecuador’s highest-security prison. Read Article

The new information adds to mounting international concern about censorship and press freedom under Correa. It also raises questions as to whether the Ecuadorian intelligence agency’s use of contractors to monitor and remove criticisms violates free expression and privacy protections in the country’s constitution.

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