Mexico’s telecommunications regulator decided Thursday to delay by several months the planned auction of two digital television networks, citing a congressional delay in passing the laws that will guide last year’s overhaul of the telecommunications and broadcast sectors.
The Federal Telecommunications Institute moved to September from June the deadline for potential bidders to obtain antitrust clearance to participate in the auction. The two new television networks are part of last year’s legal overhaul in the telecommunications and broadcast sectors aimed at increasing competition in those markets. Incumbent TV broadcasters Grupo Televisa and Azteca are barred from participating in the auction.
The institute said that since the Congress has yet to approve the secondary laws, the lack of legal certainty is likely to discourage bidders and their potential sources of financing.
This conference investigates the sharpening conflict between national law and state sovereignty on the one hand, and global online communications on the other hand. We appear to be at the brink of a potentially drastic transformation of the Internet into a much more territorially fragmented space, consisting of a number of separate, yet overlapping national and regional networks. Even European leaders are investigating the possibility of a European-only communication network, strongly reminiscent of China’s approach to online governance. The Westphalian model of state sovereignty is fighting back – but at what cost and what are the alternatives? The discussion of this conference seeks to advance the established yet stale academic debate on internet jurisdiction by taking a multi-disciplinary approach, going beyond the conventional parameters of the legal analysis. Rather than focus on specific jurisdictional rules and frameworks (all of which are premised on the continued viability of effective national laws in the global arena, i.e. the very matter in contention), the starting point of the discussion of this conference is the proposition that effective national law and unhindered transnational communications are irreconcilable and that any ‘compromise’ is indeed a compromise that comes at a cost either to peculiar national laws/values or free transnational communications or in fact both: you cannot have your cake and eat it too. With the acceptance of this position, it becomes possible to ground the debate in higher legal and political values, such as freedom of expression, democratic governance and the preservation of cultural identity/diversity, and to interrogate the possibilities of catering for these values through re-negotiated forms of governance.
The idea that the Internet was at best controlled anarchy and beyond any one nation’s control is fading globally amid determined attempts by more and more governments to tame the web. If innovations like Twitter were hailed as recently as the Arab uprisings as the new public square, governments like those in China, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and now Russia are making it clear that they can deploy their tanks on virtual squares, too.
Social media is an irreversible phenomenon of unprecedented scale. It has already affected social behaviour more than many other technological breakthroughs. Social media are everywhere, including in the workplace, in the company’s systems and equipment, but also in the employees’ portable devices. That is why the mere blocking of social media websites by the companies does not prevent the employee from using their particular cellphones to access them while working or even post a comment about the company from the personal computer at any other time. This is an issue of growing importance in Latin America. With its improving internal revenue, the region, and particularly Brazil, is the home of several avid users of the different forms of social media. In 2013, Facebook had 156 million users in Latin America, with 56 million users in Brazil alone. Brazil also ranks second in number of Twitterusers in Latin America, with more than 33.3 million. Moreover, according to Reuters’ Digital News Report 2013, 60% of Brazilian respondents said social media was one of the top five ways in which they view news online, compared to 30% in the US, and 17% in the UK. Brazilians are also particularly enthusiastic about commenting on news stories posted on social networks; 38% of respondents said they comment on news items via social media at least once a week, compared to 21% in the US, and 10% in the UK. Further growth is all but guaranteed, Brazil has a population of around 200 million; this means that more than 30% of the country’s inhabitants have an account with at least one social media platform. Other countries in Latin America also show impressive figures: Mexico ranks second in the social media market, with 35.6 million users; while Argentina ranks third, with 17.4 million users. According to US market research firm eMarketer, by 2017 the number of Mexicans and Argentines using social media will reach 56.3 and 22.5 million respectively; Brazil will have approximately 91 million users. Considering that social media is a relatively new addition to Latin American workplaces, companies are still learning how to deal with the phenomenon in a satisfactory manner. It is perhaps incumbent for businesses, whether they are national or international, and their in-house counsel to consider recent guidance on social media usage in the workplace in these three jurisdictions.
La Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa tiene el honor de presentar la tercera edición 2013 del valioso libro “La Libertad de Expresión en la Jurisprudencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos”, del que son autores los abogados mexicanos Sergio García Ramírez y Alejandra Gonza, destacadas figuras internacio-nales en el ámbito de los Derechos Humanos y, en lo particular, sobre libertad de expresión.