Venezuela's Chavez Seeks Strict Internet Controls

Venezuela's Chavez Seeks Strict Internet Controls

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who is severely rebuked by media freedom groups, called for regulation of the Internet on Saturday while seeking authorities crack down on a critical news Web site that he accused of falsely reporting the murder of one of his ministers.

"The Internet cannot be something open where anything is said and done. Every country has to apply its own rules and norms," Chavez said.

Chavez wants the Venezuela's attorney general to take immediate action against the Web site as it is a crime.

Social networking web sites like Twitter and Facebook are reported to very popular among Venezuela's opposition movements to launch protests against the government. Chavez has complained that people use such sites to spread fake information.

In addition, many opponents are revealed to fear Chavez plans to emulate the government oversight of the Web used by allies Cuba, China and Iran, however, the socialist leader has not extended any commitment over his plans for such a move.

Also, the government has imposed pressure on opposition TV network Globovision to soften its editorial line and last year ordered the closure of numerous radio stations for administrative breaches.