Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on March 14 called for Internet controls and demanded that authorities crack down on a website he accused of spreading false information. “The Internet cannot be something open where anything is said and done. No, every country has to apply its own rules and norms,” Chávez said during a televised speech, singling out Noticiero Digital, a Venezuela news site he said falsely reported the assassination of one of his ministers.
“We have to act. We are going to ask the prosecutor general for help, because this is a crime. I have information that this page periodically publishes stories calling for a coup d’etat. That cannot be permitted,” Chávez said. “It can’t be that they transmit whatever they want, poisoning the minds of many people—regulation, regulation, the laws!” (CNet News, March 14)