Mexico: Drug Cartels using internet social media, and Government proposals to fight it

“What we do know is that drug cartels don’t merely depend on anonymous websites … they are quite capable of publishing that information online – and anonymously – themselves. In fact, according to the the blog “Last of the Dodos,” the Gulf Cartel even temporarily had its own official YouTube channel. (The account was quickly suspended.)

Mexican officials also say that drug cartels are using Twitter and Facebook to avoid military raids and police checkpoints. In the border town of Reynosa, where fighting between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel has been the most intense, a Facebook message that warned of an upcoming shootout caused the entire city, including schools and shops, to shut down. (The predicted shootout never did take place.)

Mexican politicians have responded by proposing a law that would give them power to block websites that facilitate the breaking of the law. It would also make illegal the publishing of information that helps anyone break the law or avoid the police.

In practice, the law could provide the government a handy excuse to censor legitimate information that helps hold government officials accountable.”

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