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National Telecommunications Commission attempts to interfere in Sustainable Development Network's activities

(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 22 September 2009, the Sustainable Development Network (Red de Desarrollo Sostenible, RDS) reported that National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) personnel have threatened to conduct an investigation into its activities. RDS lawyer Alicia Paz told C-Libre that CONATEL has told them to immediately suspend all activities associated with registration of .hn (the Internet country code top-level domain for Honduras) domain names and to hand over .hn lists and database information. RDS is the registry operator for .hn domains. Furthermore, CONATEL is ordering the inspections department to investigate RDS-HN and has assigned two experts to look into the reach and types of services provided to users of the generic .net, .org, .edu, .gob and .com domains that fall under .hn.

The individuals who arrived at the RDS offices said that it was within CONATEL's mandate to inspect the network. Paz, however, said that RDS does not provide Internet services but rather that it is the administrator for Internet domain names.

Paz went on to say that she views the CONATEL actions as a violation of freedom of expression because RDS serves as a channel for information at the national and international level.

The CONATEL group was headed by lawyer Adán Elvir, and accompanied by Bladimir Pineda and several technicians.

Paz said that RDS is opposed to the CONATEL intervention since the network does not sell Internet services and does not carry out other activities that would link it to telecommunications. She went on to say that they will hold Elvir responsible for any damages to RDS facilities or actions against RDS personnel that might result from the CONATEL activities.

C-Libre views the CONATEL actions as yet another in a series of freedom of expression and information rights violations that have taken place since the de facto government was installed in Honduras after the 28 June coup d'état.

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