YouTube and online services restricted in Venezuela as Guaido speaks from Guatire

Network data shows that Venezuela’s state-run internet provider ABA CANTV (AS8048) restricted access to YouTube, several Google services, Android mobile backend servers and Microsoft Bing as of 4:10 p.m. UTC (12:10 p.m. VET) Saturday 18 May 2019. The nationwide block coincides with a live-streamed speech by Juan Guaid贸 from Guatire, Miranda. Connectivity has subsequently been restored at 5:00 p.m (1:00 p.m. VET) following the end of the speech.

Nationwide impact during the incident was widespread but partial, with some users less affected by the restrictions. This contrasts with previous incidents where a total disconnection of the services was observed, and may indicate efforts by authorities to limit collateral impact to unrelated services such as Google search. Network data indicate that the latest platform disruptions are consistent with methods used to block online content in Venezuela.

Venezuela saw a remission in ephemeral network filtering during the nationwide power outages through March. News media and campaign website filters nevertheless remained in place throughout that period and intermittent censorship resumed even as much of the country remained offline due to chronic power grid failures. Juan Guaid贸’s speech addressed Venezuela’s deepening energy crisis and gasoline shortage.

Past incidents of network filtering in Venezuela have lasted from twelve minutes to over twenty hours, when YouTube was restricted hours before the country’s first nationwide power outage.

 


NetBlocks is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

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