Venezuela’s New Security Agency: Watching the Web With No Judicial Oversight

2014-03-19 Global Voices Advocacy (Marianne Díaz)

In October 2013, the Venezuelan government enacted a law by presidential decree to create the National Strategic Security and Protection Center (CESSPA), an organization designed to “unify the flow of information on sensitive strategic aspects of Security, Defense, Intelligence and Internal Order, and Foreign Affairs” in both the public and private sectors. Within CESSPA’s organizational structure is the Directorate of Technological Studies and Information whose function, among others, is to process and analyze “information from the web,” and to analyze the “events or actions that affect daily life and the politics of the State.” CESSPA establishes mechanisms of prior censorship by possessing the ability to classify any information as secret [es] without going through any legal proceedings.

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