Mexico Considers Restriction on Social Networking

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Now in addition to fighting a war against drug cartels, the Mexican government is trying to crack down on los Twitteros…as in members of the social networking site. Turns out some users have been twittering the locations of alcoholimetros—Breathalyzer checkpoints set up to curb its high drunk driving rate. On one such feed, Anti Alcoholimetro, users write in with the time and location of Mexico City checkpoints to help others avoid them.
 
And with fears that kidnappers and drug cartels could also be using Twitter, Facebook and Myspace to communicate and locate friends and families of potential targets, the government is considering a bill that will restrict the use of these sites. It would also create a “cybernetic police force” to monitor the web and punish those who break the law or help someone else to do so.
 
“We have to regulate these websites to make sure there aren’t people breaking the law, making death threats or committing crimes via electronic means,” says Nazario Norberto, a federal representative and member of the Leftist Revolutionary Party. His bill would allow judges to shut down sites that help people break copyrights and other laws. Norberto denies this would restrict free speech, but instead would keep users from giving out private government info—such as the surprise locations of alcoholimetros—online.
 
Do you think the Mexican government has a right to restrict social networking sites for the sake of public safety?

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