|A Obstacles to Access||19 25|
|B Limits on Content||27 35|
|C Violations of User Rights||25 40|
Argentina’s internet environment remained free during the coverage period, as users generally experienced unfettered access to online content and were able to engage freely on social media. Criminal complaints were not wielded against users for COVID-19-related content as much as when the pandemic began, activists continued to use digital tools to mobilize around gender issues, and the government made decisions that favored user privacy in the face of potentially exploitative practices by social media companies. Despite these positive developments, reports of illegal government surveillance continue to emerge, while technical attacks have continued to target government entities and at least one website hosting investigative reporting.
Argentina is a vibrant representative democracy with competitive elections, lively media and civil society sectors, and unfettered public debate. Economic instability, corruption in the government and judiciary, and drug-related violence are among the country’s most serious challenges.
- Women’s rights activists continued to use digital tools to draw attention to gender issues during the coverage period. The #PeriodismoConDiversidad (Journalism with Diversity) campaign was launched in April 2022 to call for greater inclusion of women and other marginalized people in media (see B8).
- Users saw fewer instances of criminal complaints or charges for COVID-19-related content during the coverage period. Charges leveled against an investigative journalist were dropped in November 2021 (see C3).
- In December 2021, former president Mauricio Macri was charged with ordering the illegal surveillance of the relatives of 44 sailors who died when their submarine sank in 2017. The sailors’ relatives had reported having their email addresses and various digital accounts hacked in 2018. A federal court dismissed the charges in July 2022, after the coverage period (see C5).
- In June 2021, a site hosting investigative reporting on a conversative political network was taken offline as the result of a likely technical attack (see C8). After the reporting was published, one journalist involved in the investigation reported receiving threats over the phone and having her personal information leaked online (see C7).
|Do infrastructural limitations restrict access to the internet or the speed and quality of internet connections?||5.005 6.006|
Argentina’s internet penetration rate is among the highest in Latin America, with more than 85 percent of the population able to access the internet according to 2020 data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the most recent available.1
There were 7.84 million fixed-line internet subscriptions in the first quarter of 2022, a 2 percent year-over-year increase.2 There were 34.78 million mobile internet users in the first trimester of 2022, a 9.9 percent increase over the previous year.3 According to late 2021 data from the Argentine Internet Chamber (CABASE), fiber-optic connections represent only 17 percent of all fixed-line internet connections in the country.4
Measurements of internet speed vary, but a range of sources show that the country lags behind global averages and that speeds are slower than those in several other Latin American countries.5 In June 2021, CABASE reported that 73 percent of all connections were faster than 6 megabits per second (Mbps); 55 percent of connections were above 20 Mbps, 7 percent between 10 and 20 Mbps, and 11 percent between 6 and 10 Mbps.6
Projects to expand internet infrastructure were implemented during the coverage period. The 2,500 kilometer Malbec subsea cable system, which connects Argentina and Brazil, began operating in June 2021.7 The National Authority for Communications (ENACOM) had authorized service provider GlobeNet to implement the project, which was developed in collaboration with Facebook and is envisioned to double the country’s connectivity capacity,8 in July 2020.9 Also in June 2021, Google announced plans to build the Firmina subsea cable, which will connect Argentina and the United States and will also land in Brazil and Uruguay; Firmina is expected to begin operating in 2023.10
In September 2020, President Alberto Fernández launched the National Plan of Connectivity (Connect), which seeks in part to expand the national satellite system to improve connectivity in rural areas and continue the expansion of the Federal Fiber Optics Network by its projected completion in 2024 (see A2).11
- 1International Telecommunication Union (ITU), “Percentage of Individuals using the Internet,” accessed March 24, 2022, https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx.
- 2Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC), “Accesos a internet primer trimestre de 2022 [Internet Access First Trimester of 2022],” June 2022, https://www.indec.gob.ar/uploads/informesdeprensa/internet_06_22CAC81B4….
- 3Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC), “Accesos a internet primer trimestre de 2022 [Internet Access First Trimester of 2022],” June 2022, https://www.indec.gob.ar/uploads/informesdeprensa/internet_06_22CAC81B4….
- 4Cámara Argentina de Internet (CABASE), “CABASE alerta sobre retraso en despliegue de fibra óptica en el país [CABASE warns about delay in deployment of fiber optic in the country],” May 16 2022, https://www.cabase.org.ar/mujeres-en-la-economia-gigital-copy/
- 5Ookla® Speedtest Global Index, “Speedtest Global Index,” February 2022, https://www.speedtest.net/global-index/argentina#mobile
- 6Cámara Argentina de Internet (CABASE), “CABASE Internet Index 2021: Primer semestre [CABASE Internet Index 2021: First semester],” accessed March 24, 2022, https://www.cabase.org.ar/2020-internet-index-2/;
- 7Natalie Bannerman, “Malbec Cable System Goes Live!”, Submarine Telecoms Forum, June 13, 2021, https://subtelforum.com/malbec-cable-system-goes-live/; “Reunión con representantes de Facebook por proyectos de conectividad [Meeting with Facebook on connectivity projects],” ENACOM, March 4, 2021, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/reunion-con-representantes-de-f…
- 8Melanie Mingas, “Malbec subsea cable in ‘final stages’ of implementation,” Capacity Media, March 13, 2020, https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3825102/malbec-subsea-cable-in-f…; “GlobeNet’s Malbec subsea cable wins Best Americas Project at Capacity Global Carrier Awards,” GlobeNet, October 31, 2019, https://globenet.com/en/2019/10/31/globenets-mallbec-subsea-cable-award…
- 9ENACOM, “ENACOM aprobó la instalación de dos cables internacionales submarinos de fibra óptica [ENACOM approved the installation of two international submarine fiber optic cables],” July 28, 2020, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/noticias/institucional/enacom-aprobo-la-insta…
- 10Bikash Koley, “Hola, South America! Announcing the Firmina subsea cable,” Google Cloud, June 9, 2021, https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/infrastructure/announcing-the-fi…; Frederic Lardinois, “Google announces the Firmina subsea cable between the US and Argentina,” TechCrunch, June 9, 2021, https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/09/google-announces-the-firmina-subsea-c…
- 11“¿En qué onductors Plan Conectar? [What does Connecting Plan consist of?],” Página 12, September 16, 2020 https://www.pagina12.com.ar/292504-en-que-consiste-el-plan-conectar; “ENACOM, presente en el lanzamiento del Plan Nacional de Conectividad (Conectar) [ENACOM present at the launching of the National Plan of Connectivity (Connect)],” ENACOM, September 16, 2020, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/enacom--presente-en-el-lanzamie…
|Is access to the internet prohibitively expensive or beyond the reach of certain segments of the population for geographical, social, or other reasons?||2.002 3.003|
Some Argentine connectivity costs are low when compared to costs in other parts of South America. However, high inflation makes internet subscriptions relatively expensive for Argentines, especially for those with lower incomes. A notable geographic divide persists.
Geographic differences in internet access are substantial. Fixed-line internet subscriptions reach over 80 percent of households in provinces such as La Pampa, Chubut, Tierra del Fuego, and Córdoba, and below 40 percent in others, like San Juan and Formosa. Nearly a third of provinces have internet penetration levels below 50 percent.1
Many who lack internet access live in rural areas. According to a study conducted by ENACOM and the National Agricultural Technology Institute between November 2020 and May 2021, over 40 percent of the 331 rural areas surveyed lacked internet connectivity. Surveyed areas with Indigenous populations saw even greater levels of nonconnectivity, at 60 percent.2
According to Cable, a UK-based company, the average price for 1 gigabyte (GB) of mobile data in Argentina was 188.75 Argentine pesos ($1.87) in 2022.3 Argentina’s average monthly broadband cost of 2,321 pesos ($20.92) was the second cheapest in South America according to Cable.4 The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Inclusive Internet Index 2022 ranks Argentina 33rd out of 100 countries surveyed in terms of affordability. Regionally, Argentina placed 5th of the 16 countries surveyed.5
Argentina’s main service providers have raised the cost of mobile plans in recent years.6 The government has sought to curb these efforts in the past. In August 2020, a presidential decree declared landline and mobile phone, internet, and pay television services essential public services; extended a May decision to temporarily suspend increases in rates to last through the end of 2020; and required government approval for price increases after the suspension ended. However, a series of judicial rulings in 2021 exempted a number of telecommunications companies from the decree, allowing them to increase prices (see A4).7
Various government initiatives have sought to promote digital inclusion. In February 2022, ENACOM granted over 1.7 billion pesos ($16.8 million) to a number of projects promoting equitable information and communication technology (ICT) access for less-connected communities, including several focused on expanding broadband infrastructure and promoting the development of ICTs in less profitable, and therefore underserved, parts of the country.8 In December 2020, the government launched a Universal Basic Plan to provide telephone, internet, and pay television services for low-income Argentines by offering different low-cost packages to those who meet specific criteria. Companies are required to offer these packages under this plan, which officially began in January 2021.9 As of August 2021, 400,000 mobile-telephony plans and 5,000 internet plans had been provided.10
While Law 27.078 protects net neutrality,11 practices such as zero-rating are commonplace; for example, major mobile providers do not charge users to access WhatsApp.12
- 1ENACOM, “Penetración de internet fijo [Fixed Internet Penetration],” March 15, 2022, https://datosabiertos.enacom.gob.ar/visualizations/32226/penetracion-de…
- 2Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, “Conectividad a Internet, una cuenta pendiente para los parajes rurales [Internet connection, an unresolved matter for rural locations],” November 8, 2021, https://inta.gob.ar/noticias/conectividad-a-internet-una-cuenta-pendien…
- 3“Worldwide Global Data Pricing 2022,” Cable.co.uk, 2022, https://www.cable.co.uk/mobiles/worldwide-data-pricing/
- 4“Global broadband pricing league table 2022,” Cable.co.uk, 2022, https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/pricing/worldwide-comparison/#regions.
- 5The Inclusive Internet Index, 2022, The Economist, https://impact.economist.com/projects/inclusive-internet-index/2022
- 6“Suben los planes de telefonía móvil: esté será el aumento promedio para marzo [Increase in mobile phone plans: this will be the average price hike for March],” iProUP, February 6, 2020, https://www.iproup.com/startups/11153-suben-los-planes-de-telefonia-mov…
- 7“El Gobierno onduct las tarifas de telefonía fija y móvil, internet y TV paga [The government suspends the rates for fixed and mobile phone services, internet and paid TV],” Perfil, May 18, 2020, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/actualidad/cuarentena-gobierno-congela-….; “Declaran servicio público a telefonía móvil, internet y TV paga y congelan tarifas hasta fin de año [Government declares mobile phone, Internet and pay Tv are public services and suspend raises in the rate until end of the year],” Telam, August 21, 2020 https://www.telam.com.ar/notas/202008/505191-alberto-fernandez-gobierno…
- 8“ENACOM asegura el derecho a la conectividad y la comunicación [ENACOM secures the right to connectivity and communication],” ENACOM, February 25, 2022, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/enacom-asegura-el-derecho-a-la-…
- 9“Entra en vigencia un plan básico universal obligatorio para telefonía, internet y TV paga [A mandatory basic universal plan for telephony, Internet and pay TV is coming into force ],” Telam, December 18, 2020 https://www.telam.com.ar/notas/202012/538971-anuncio-prestacion-univers…
- 10“Internet y telefonía baratas: cómo son los planes a bajo precio del Enacom y quiénes pueden acceder [Cheap Internet and telephony: how are Enacom’s low-cost plans and who can access them ],” iProfesional, August 30, 2021, https://www.iprofesional.com/tecnologia/346340-internet-barata-cuales-s…
- 11“Argentina Digital,” InfoLEG, December 16, 2014, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/235000-239999/23….
- 12“Contenidos Digitales: Que es y como impacta el fin de la neutralidad en Internet [Digital Content: What it is and how it impacts the end of neutrality on the Internet],” Clarin, June 11, 2018, https://www.clarin.com/tecnologia/impacta-fin-neutralidad-internet_0_Hy….
|Does the government exercise technical or legal control over internet infrastructure for the purposes of restricting connectivity?||6.006 6.006|
The government does not exercise control over telecommunications infrastructure. There have been no reported instances of the government cutting off internet connectivity during protests or social unrest.
Argentina has 32 functioning internet exchange points (IXPs) strategically distributed in major cities across the country,1 which help manage internet traffic efficiently.2
- 1“Red Nacional de IXPs 2020 [Map of Network Access Points (NAPs) 2020],” accessed March 2, 2021, https://nuestrarevista.com.ar/PosterCabase2020interactivoOK.pdf
- 2“IXPs en funcionamiento [IXPs in operation],” CABASE, accessed August 18, 2020, https://www.cabase.org.ar/que-es-un-nap-3/.
|Are there legal, regulatory, or economic obstacles that restrict the diversity of service providers?||4.004 6.006|
Argentina has at least 234 internet service providers (ISPs), including many small- and medium-sized providers.1 Grupo Clarín is the dominant broadband provider, holding 46 percent of that market as of February 2021, followed by Telefónica with 15 percent, Telecentro with 12 percent, and Supercanal with 7 percent. Small ISPs together hold the remaining 20 percent of the broadband market.2 The mobile sector is concentrated under market leaders Claro (América Móvil, 36.8 percent), Personal (Telecom Argentina, 33.9 percent), and Movistar (Telefónica, 29.4 percent).3
A megamerger between Telecom Argentina and cable-television provider Cablevisión was completed by mid-2018,4 creating the country’s largest telecommunications and media group.5 The combined company provides fixed-line and mobile internet services, voice telephony, over-the-top (OTT) services, and telecommunications products for corporate clients. Mobile service provider Personal (part of Cablevisión-Telecom) has since seen an increase in its market share.6 Competitors and experts raised concerns about this merger’s impact on pluralism, diversity, and competition.7 These concerns were partly addressed during the coverage period. By March 2022, Telecom Argentina completed returning excess spectrum to the state; it had gained the additional spectrum from the merger, but ENACOM stipulated that additional spectrum beyond the cap for individual providers must be returned when it approved the deal.8
The government and ENACOM have made decisions with potential to increase competition in recent years. A May 2020 suspension of price increases for telecommunications services applied only to products offered by select major companies, while cooperatives and small- and medium-sized enterprises were exempt (see A2).9 In April 2021, a federal court suspended the application of an August 2020 presidential decree in the case of Telecom Argentina; under the decree, price increases imposed after a freeze expiring in December 2020 required government approval. In May 2021, ENACOM announced it would appeal that decision at the Supreme Court.10 A series of judicial rulings extended the suspension to other telecommunication companies, including Telefónica in December 2021, effectively neutralizing the government’s attempt to control prices.11
A 2017 resolution has allowed the government to push for a more “flexible and objective” ICT licensing regime.12 The process to obtain an ISP license can be done online with a payment fee of 20,000 pesos ($198).13
- 1“Internet Map in Argentina 2021,” Convergencia Latina, November 19, 2021, https://www.convergencialatina.com/News-Detail/331208-3-53-Internet_Map….
- 2“¿Hay concentración en Internet en América Latina? El caso Argentina [Is there market concentration in Latin America? The Argentina case],” Observacom, May 2021, https://web.archive.org/web/20210521225058/https://www.observacom.org/w…
- 3“¿Hay concentración en Internet en América Latina? El caso Argentina [Is there market concentration in Latin America? The Argentina case],” Observacom, May 2021, https://web.archive.org/web/20210521225058/https://www.observacom.org/w…
- 4“Resolution MM N° 5644/2017,” ENACOM, December 21, 2017, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/multimedia/normativas/2017/res5644%20(diciemb….
- 5Manuel Nieto, “Desde la onduc Telecom – Cablevisión, Personal crece como nunca en el mercado de celulares [Since the Telecom- Cablevisión merger, Personal grows as never before in the mobile market],” Perfil, March 6, 2019, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/economia/desde-la-fusion-telecom-cablev…; Martin Becerra, “La Letra chica que hace mas grande al gigante Cablevision-Telecom [The small print that makes the giant Cablevision-Telecom bigger]” Letrap, March 7, 2018, https://www.letrap.com.ar/nota/2018-3-7-17-12-0-la-letra-chica-que-hace….
- 6Manuel Nieto, “Desde la onduc Telecom – Cablevisión, Personal crece como nunca en el mercado de celulares [Since the Telecom- Cablevisión merger, Personal grows as never before in the mobile market],” Perfil, March 6, 2019, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/economia/desde-la-fusion-telecom-cablev….
- 7“Telefónica onduc onduc de Cablevisión y Telecom por trato discriminatorio y no asegurar competencia efectiva [Telefónica challenged Cablevisión and Telecom merger for discriminatory treatment and not ensuring effective competition],” Observacom, July 27, 2018, http://www.observacom.org/telefonica-impugno-fusion-de-cablevision-y-te… ; Giuliana Fernandez, “Fusión Cablevisión- Telecom: (casi) única en el Mundo [Fusión Cablevisión- Telecom: (almost) unique in the World],” el destape, July 15, 2018, https://www.eldestapeweb.com/por-giuliana-fernandez/fusion-cablevision-….
- 8“Telecom Argentina concludes spectrum return process started in 2017,” CommsUpdate, March 16, 2022, https://www.commsupdate.com/articles/2022/03/16/telecom-argentina-concl…; “Argentina opens process to assign frequencies in 2.6GHz band,” BNamericas, May 20, 2022, https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/argentina-opens-process-to-assign-fr…; Eliana Raszweski, “Exclusive – Argentina’s Telecom/Cablevision would have to return airwaves,” Reuters, July 7, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-argentina-telecoms/exclusive-argenti…
- 9Paula Bertolini, “Regulador y operadores pactaron congelar los precios en Argentina [Regulator and operators agree on freezing rates in Argentina],” DPLNews, May 19, 2020, https://digitalpolicylaw.com/regulador-y-operadores-pactaron-congelar-l….
- 10“La Justicia suspendió el DNU de las telecomunicaciones que ondu Alberto Fernández [The judiciary suspended decree on telecommunications issued by Alberto Fernández ],” Clarín, May 1, 2021, https://www.clarin.com/economia/justicia-suspendio-dnu-telecomunicacion…; “How will the suspension of Argentina's telecoms decree affect the sector?”, BNamericas, May 4, 2021, https://www.bnamericas.com/en/features/how-will-the-suspension-of-argen…
- 11“Telcos: la Justicia amplía una cautelar contra el DNU del Gobierno [Telcos: Judge extend the application of a order against presidential decree ],” Cronista, April 1, 2021, https://www.cronista.com/negocios/telcos-la-justicia-amplia-una-cautela…; “Telefónica ganó un round en la Justicia y es libre de aumentar [Telefónica obtain victory in courts and is free to increase prices ],” La Nación, December 19, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/negocios/telecomunicaciones-nueva-…
- 12“Resolución 697-E/2017 [Resolution MM N° 697/2017],” InfoLEG, December 28, 2017, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/305000-309999/30….
- 13“Licencias de Servicios de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones [Licensing of Information Technology and Communications Services],” ENACOM, accessed March 8, 2020, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/licencias-de-servicios-de-tecnologias-de-la-i….
|Do national regulatory bodies that oversee service providers and digital technology fail to operate in a free, fair, and independent manner?||2.002 4.004|
The main telecommunications regulator, ENACOM, was created by presidential decree in December 2015,1 and later validated by the National Congress in April 2016.2
The body’s composition has raised some concerns about possible executive influence. ENACOM operates within the public innovation secretariat, under the chief of cabinet of ministers, and has a board comprised of four directors chosen by the president and three proposed by the legislature: one by the majority or first minority party, one by the second minority party, and one by the third minority party. ENACOM’s decisions can be approved by a simple majority, and its members, who serve four-year terms, may be removed by the president.3 The ICT policymaker is the Secretariat of Public Innovation, after the Fernández administration restructured the Secretariat of Modernization in December 2019.4
The executive body, the Network Information Center (NIC) Argentina, regulates and registers all websites with the “.ar” top-level domain name. Registration of any domain ending in “.ar” requires an annual fee between 475 and 950 pesos ($4.71 and $9.41).5
- 1The decree dissolved the previous regulatory agencies, Federal Authority of Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA), the Federal Authority for Information Technologies and Communications (AFTIC). “Decree 1340/16,” Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina, December 30, 2016, https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/161155/20170102.
- 2“El Congreso puso punto final a la ley de medios del kirchnerismo [Congress puts final stop on Kirchner media law],” Infobae, April 6, 2016, https://www.infobae.com/2016/04/06/1802437-el-congreso-puso-punto-final….
- 3“¿Qué es Enacom? [What is Enacom?],” ENACOM, accessed August 18, 2020, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/que-es-enacom_p33.
- 4“Publicaron el nuevo organigrama del Estado con 21 ministerios, 84 secretarías y 169 subsecretarías [The government published the new structure of the State with 21 ministries, 84 secretariats and 169 undersecretariats],” Ámbito, December 20, 2019, https://www.ambito.com/politica/casa-rosada/publicaron-el-nuevo-organig…;“Innovacion Publica [Secretariat of Public Innovation],” Argentina.gob.ar, accessed March 8, 2020, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/jefatura/innovacion-publica.
- 5“Dominios [Domains and fees],” NIC Argentina, accessed March 24, 2022, https://nic.ar/index.php/es/dominios/dominios_y_aranceles.
|Does the state block or filter, or compel service providers to block or filter, internet content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||5.005 6.006|
Users in Argentina have access to a wide array of online content. Nevertheless, courts have the power to order website blocks, and have done so to protect copyright and limit access to unauthorized gambling sites based on different provincial regulations.1 Law 25.690 also requires ISPs to provide software that can allow users to choose to limit their own access to “specific websites.”2
Courts have made controversial decisions in recent years to try to block the mobile transportation app Uber, finding it was not in compliance with the legal framework for public transportation services.3 After a provisional order to suspend Uber was issued in Córdoba in 2019,4 Uber stopped operating in the city.5 The company resumed operations there in December 2020,6 after the city failed to comply with an October 2020 court order that required them to enact ridesharing regulations within 30 business days.7
- 1“¿Llegó la regulación? Bloquean sitios de apuestas en Argentina [Has regulation arrived? Block on betting sites in Argentina],” Codigo Poker, June 20, 2018, https://www.codigopoker.com/noticias-generales/juego-online-bloqueo-arg…; “Pese al bloqueo, varios sitios permiten ingresar a the Pirate Bay en la Argentina [Despite blocking, various sites enable access to the Pirate Bay in Argentina],” Infotechnology, July 3, 2014, https://www.infotechnology.com/internet/Pese-al-bloqueo-varios-sitios-p…; “La Justicia Ordeno el cierre de ‘la nueva Cuevana’ [Justice ordered the closure of the ‘new Cuevana’],” iProfessional, November 14, 2018, https://www.iprofesional.com/legales/281452-denuncia-ley-medida-cautela….
- 2“Proveedores de Internet Ley 25.690 [Internet Providers Law 25.690],” InfoLEG, November 28, 2002, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/80000-84999/8103….
- 3“Uber apeló el bloqueo de la Justicia porteña, pero la aplicación sigue funcionando [Uber onducto the blocking in Buenos Aires tribunals, but the app is still working],” Clarin, February 13, 2018, http://clar.in/2stWBRB.
- 4“La Justicia ordenó a Uber suspender el servicio en Córdoba [The Judiciary ordered Uber to suspend their service in Córdoba],” La Voz, September 13, 2019, https://www.lavoz.com.ar/ciudadanos/justicia-ordeno-uber-suspender-serv….
- 5“Uber se desactiva en Córdoba para proteger de multas a sus onductors [Uber ceased to be available in Córdoba to protect its drivers from fines ],” Apertura, September 26, 2019 https://www.cronista.com/apertura-negocio/empresas/Uber-se-desactiva-en…
- 6“En medio de la puja con la Municipalidad, Uber lanzó dos nuevos servicios en Córdoba [In the middle of a struggle with the Municipality, Uber launched two new services in Córdoba],” La Voz, December 30, 2020 https://www.lavoz.com.ar/ciudadanos/en-medio-de-puja-con-municipalidad-…
- 7“La justicia de Córdoba falló a favor de Uber [Cordoba Court ruled in favor of Uber],” Bae Negocios, November 2, 2020 https://www.baenegocios.com/sociedad/La-justicia-de-Cordoba-fallo-a-fav…
|Do state or nonstate actors employ legal, administrative, or other means to force publishers, content hosts, or digital platforms to delete content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||2.002 4.004|
Courts continue to consider lawsuits from individuals requesting that search engines and platforms take down certain material. Judges have ordered search engines and social networks to remove content based on the right to honor and privacy, which is guaranteed under Article 52 of the civil code and allows Argentines to prevent or repair any damage to their reputation.
The “right to be forgotten” remains a subject of debate. In June 2022, after the coverage period, the Supreme Court ruled against the right to be forgotten when content falls within the public interest in Natalia Denegri v. Google.1 The Supreme Court held a public hearing on the case in March 2022;2 a civil judge had ruled in celebrity Natalia Denegri’s favor in February 2020, ordering Google to delist search results of keywords referring to Denegri’s involvement in a 1990s scandal—a decision that had been reaffirmed by the National Court of Civil Appeals in August 2020.3 During the 2022 hearing, various civil society organizations recommended that the Supreme Court not enshrine the right to be forgotten.4 The final ruling was well received by digital rights organizations for its strong precedent favoring the public interest over the right to be forgotten.5
A number of courts have recently overturned prior rulings requiring search engines to deindex information, with particular emphasis on information related to cases of sexual harassment. In June 2020, an appeals court in La Plata reversed a prior ruling that Facebook remove the URLs of posts on a feminist group’s Facebook page that denounced a political activist as an abuser and manipulator. The appeals court ruled that the group’s speech was constitutionally protected.6 In July 2021, the Federal Chamber of Bahía Blanca reversed a decision requiring Google and Facebook to remove present and future content about an actor who had been accused of sexually harassing a teenager in a 2018 Facebook post. The court stressed that free expression takes precedence over potential reputational damage, especially when the content in question involves specially protected speech from vulnerable populations—in this case, the rights of women, adolescents, and children.7
During the previous coverage period, major political players requested that courts order Google to conduct analyses on their knowledge panels, information boxes that appear after a search to provide a brief overview of a topic. These requests paved the way for demands that the search engine remove or suppress content, though this had not happened in practice by the end of the current coverage period. Former president and current vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made one such request in August 2020 as a prior step to suing the company for defamation. She claimed that Google affected her image and honor when “Thief of the Argentine Nation” appeared in her knowledge panel in May 2020.8 Courts accepted Fernández de Kirchner’s request;9 Google appealed to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal in March 2021 due to legal technicalities.10 First lady Fabiola Yáñez submitted a similar request in November 2020, which a court accepted in January 2021; she alleged that her knowledge panel displayed derogatory and misogynist remarks about her instead of her official title.11
- 1Leo Schwartz and Lucía Cholakian Herrera, “Argentina’s Supreme Court backs Google, says ’right to be forgotten’ can infringe on freedom of information,” Rest of the World, June 28, 2022, https://restofworld.org/2022/argentina-supreme-court-google-right-to-be…
- 2Patricia Blanco, “Derecho al olvido: tras una tensa audiencia, la Corte entra en etapa de definiciones en la demanda de Natalia Denegri contra Google [Right to be forgotten: after a tense audience, the Court is ready to rule on Natalia Denegri’s lawsuit against Google ],” Infobae, March 18, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/sociedad/2022/03/18/derecho-al-olvido-tras-una-…
- 3Matías Werner, “El “Costeja” de América [The “Costeja” of the Americas],” Diario Judicial, February 26, 2020, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/85785/civil/el-costeja-de-america.h…; "Caso Natalia Denegri: por primera vez en la Argentina, la Justicia aplicó el "derecho al olvido" en una demanda contra Google [Natalia Denegri Case: Courts recognized the right to be forgotten in a lawsuit against Google for the first time in Argentina]," La Nación August 12, 2020 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/sociedad/por-primera-vez-argentina-se-promu…; "Derecho al olvido: Especialistas entienden que podría atentar contra la libertad de expresión [Right to be forgotten: experts think it can affect freedom of expression]," Perfil, August 25, 2020, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/actualidad/natalia-denegri-versus-googl…
- 4“La ADC expuso como amicus curiae en la audiencia realizada por la CSJN en el caso Denegri contra Google [ADC participated as amicus curiae in hearing held by the Supreme Court in Denegri vs Google Case]," Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), March 18, 2022, https://adc.org.ar/2022/03/18/la-adc-expuso-como-amicus-curiae-en-la-au…
- 5Leo Schwartz and Lucía Cholakian Herrera, "Argentina’s Supreme Court backs Google, says ’right to be forgotten’ can infringe on freedom of information," Rest of the World, June 28, 2022, https://restofworld.org/2022/argentina-supreme-court-google-right-to-be…
- 6“La denuncia política no se censura [Political denunciation cannot be censored]," Diario Judicial, June 22, 2020 https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/86706
- 7“Freno a la censura a futuro [ Putting a stop to censorship]," Diario Judicial, July 2, 2021, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/89619; Public Prosecutor’s Office, “La Cámara Federal de Bahía Blanca revocó una medida cautelar para que se elimine una publicación en Facebook sobre una denuncia de abuso sexual [The Federal Chamber of Bahía Blanca revoked a precautionary measure to remove a Facebook post about a sexual abuse complaint],” Fiscales, July 2, 2022, https://www.fiscales.gob.ar/genero/la-camara-federal-de-bahia-blanca-re…
- 8“Cristina Kirchner inicia una demanda contra Google por haberla difamado [Cristina Kirchner sue Google for difamation ],” Página 12, August 7, 2021, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/283365-cristina-kirchner-inicia-una-demanda…
- 9“Polémica: qué dijo Google sobre el "cargo" que le atribuyó a Cristina Kirchner [Controversy: what Google said about the public office attributed to Crsitina Kirchner],” La Nación, May 17, 2020, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/polemica-que-dijo-google-cargo-le-…
- 10“La Corte Suprema falló a favor de Cristina Kirchner en la causa que inició contra Google [Supreme Court ruled in favor of Cristina Kirchner in her lawsuit against Google ],” Infobae March 2019, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/03/19/la-corte-suprema-fallo-a-fa…
- 11“Avanza el caso de Fabiola Yáñez contra Google por "difamación"[Fabiola Yañez defamation case against Google continues ],” Perfil, January 13, 2021, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/politica/avanza-el-caso-de-fabiola-yane…
|Do restrictions on the internet and digital content lack transparency, proportionality to the stated aims, or an independent appeals process?||3.003 4.004|
ENACOM publishes an online repository of websites that have been blocked, reinstated, or both after court orders.1 However, the tool does not specify the rules or criteria behind these decisions. The vast majority of website blocks concern online gambling (with over 30 cases in the first quarter of 2022), which is regulated differently in each province.
Recent court decisions have established takedown criteria to avoid potential abuse of generic injunctions that restrict freedom of expression (see B2).2 Though the country lacks a law on intermediary liability, a landmark 2014 Supreme Court ruling confirmed that intermediaries should not be liable for third-party content if they did not have knowledge of alleged third-party violations.3 It also established that intermediaries must remove unlawful content only if they are notified by a judicial order, thus favoring a judicial takedown regime over a “notice-and-takedown” system. However, the court stated that if the content involves “manifest illegality,” a private notification to the intermediary is sufficient. A 2017 Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed these standards in Gimbutas v. Google.4
- 1“Bloqueos de sitios web [Website blocking],” ENACOM, accessed September 20, 2022, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/bloqueo-de-sitios-web_p3286
- 2“La Corte Suprema reafirma su doctrina en materia de responsabilidad de los buscadores de internet [The Supreme Court reaffirms its doctrine regarding the responsibility of Internet search engines],” Centro de Informacion Judicial (CIJ) [Judicial Information Center], September 12, 2017, https://www.cij.gov.ar/nota-27571-La-Corte-Suprema-reafirma-su-doctrina… ; Argentina Federal Court of Appeals, “[Civil Case] 099624/2006/CA001,” Diario Judicial [Judicial Daily], May 3, 2017, http://public.diariojudicial.com/documentos/000/073/824/000073824.pdf.
- 3Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nacion [Supreme Court of Argentina], "Rodriguez, Maria Belén c/ Google Inc. s/ daños y perjuicios" [Rodriguez, Maria Belen c/ Google Inc. s/ damages], Telam, October 28, 2014, http://www.telam.com.ar/advf/documentos/2014/10/544fd356a1da8.pdf.
- 4“La Corte Suprema reafirma su doctrina en materia de responsabilidad de los buscadores de internet [The Supreme Court reaffirms its doctrine regarding the responsibility of Internet search engines],” Centro de Informacion Judicial (CIJ) [Judicial Information Center], September 12, 2017, https://www.cij.gov.ar/nota-27571-La-Corte-Suprema-reafirma-su-doctrina….
|Do online journalists, commentators, and ordinary users practice self-censorship?||3.003 4.004|
Self-censorship among bloggers and internet users is not widespread in Argentina, although some isolated instances of harassment might elicit self-censorship in particular cases.
A number of developments in recent years have sparked concern for their potential to increase self-censorship among journalists and ordinary users. This includes NODIO, an observatory for online disinformation and symbolic violence launched by the Public Defender’s Office in October 2020. Political opposition members and media organizations warned that NODIO could be used for state control over and persecution of online discourse.1 Similar concerns arose in March 2022, when the government announced its work on a project to promote the “proper” use of social networks. The initiative was interpreted by the opposition and journalism organizations as a plan to regulate social networks,2 which they said would encourage self-censorship.3 In response, the government stressed that it had no intention of proposing regulation on the matter.4
- 1“"Nodio": preocupación en la oposición por una iniciativa del Gobierno para monitorear la información [Nodio: opposition parties raise concern on government project to monitor information ],” La Nación, October 13, 2020 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/preocupacion-iniciativa-del-gobier…; “ADEPA cuestionó la creación de Nodio: ‘No favorece la libertad de expresión’ [ADEPA questioned the creation of Nodio: ‘It does not favor freedom of expression’],” La Nacion, October 12, 2020, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/duro-comunicado-adepa-creacion-nod…
- 2“Reacción de la oposición al plan de Gustavo Beliz para regular las redes sociales: “autoritarismo puro” y “censura” [Opposition reacts to Gustavo Beliz plan to regulate social media: pure authoritarianism and censorship],” Clarin, March 29, 2022, https://www.clarin.com/politica/reaccion-oposicion-plan-gustavo-beliz-r…
- 3“FOPEA sobre las expresiones del secretario de Asuntos Estratégicos Gustavo Beliz [FOPEA on Secretary of Strategic Matters Gustavo Béliz comments],” FOPEA, March 29, 2022, https://www.fopea.org/fopea-sobre-las-expresiones-del-secretario-de-asu…
- 4El Gobierno anunció que promueve un “pacto para el buen uso de las redes sociales, que dejen de intoxicar el espíritu de nuestra democracia [Government announced a pact for a good use of social media, to stop intoxicating the spirit of our democracy ],” Infobae, March 29, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/03/29/el-gobierno-anuncio-un-proy…
|Are online sources of information controlled or manipulated by the government or other powerful actors to advance a particular political interest?||3.003 4.004|
There have been episodes in recent years of seemingly organized digital behavior through bots, trolls, and personal accounts connected to political campaigning.1
Though some disinformation regarding politicians did appear online in the lead-up to the November 2021 legislative election, the content did not have a significant impact on public debate. One false claim that circulated, for instance, was that former president Macri misspelled “November” in his personal notes.2 Past elections have been flashpoints for online manipulation and disinformation in Argentina. Ahead of the 2019 general elections, an exposé found that several agencies working to develop tailored social media campaigns for presidential candidates used trolls and bots to promote narratives against opponents.3
During the previous coverage period, in January 2021, Facebook reported removing just over 1,000 combined Facebook and Instagram accounts in December 2020 due to the inauthentic amplification of posts and articles about Sergio Berni, the minister of security for Buenos Aires Province. According to the report, these accounts were created in Argentina and targeted domestic audiences with the intent to make Berni-related content seem more popular by liking and resharing posts from the minister’s official page.4
- 1Luis Novaresio,“¿Tiene el gobierno de Macri un ejército de trolls para acosar a los que lo critican? [Does the Macri government have an army of trolls to harass those who criticize it?],” Infobae, December 16, 2017, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2017/12/16/tiene-el-gobierno-de-macri-…; Pablo A. Gonzalez, “Jugada preparada’ [Planned move],” El gato y la caja (EGLC), December 2016, https://elgatoylacaja.com.ar/jugada-preparada/.
- 2“Mostraron fotos viejas de la campaña de Tolosa Paz como si fueran actuales [Old photos of the Tolosa Paz campaign were shown as if they were recent],” Chequeado, September 1, 2021, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/mostraron-fotos-viejas-de-la-campan…; “No, no es actual ni de 2020 el video de Fernández brindando con Tolosa Paz; es del triunfo electoral de 2019 [Video depicting Fernandez toasting with Tolosa Paz is neither recent nor from 2020: it’s from the 2019 election victory],” Chequeado, September 7, 2021, https://chequeado.com/hilando-fino/no-no-es-actual-ni-de-2020-el-video-…; “No, las anotaciones virales con errores ortográficos no son de Mauricio Macri [No, grammar misatkes depicted by viral video were not made by Macri],” Chequeado, September 23, 2021, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/no-las-anotaciones-virales-con-erro…
- 3Lucas Robinson, “Fake news persists in Argentina as election draws near,” September 14, 2019, Buenos Aires Times, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/fake-news-persists-in-argenti….; Hugo Alconada Mon, “‘El señor de los trolls’: así funciona el mundo de las campañas sucias y las bases de datos irregulars [The Troll Lord: the underworld of dirty campaigns and irregular databases],” La Nación, September 10, 2019, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/el-senor-de-los-trolls-asi-funcion….
- 4“December 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report,” Facebook, January 12 2021, https://about.fb.com/news/2021/01/december-2020-coordinated-inauthentic…
|Are there economic or regulatory constraints that negatively affect users’ ability to publish content online?||2.002 3.003|
State advertising is typically allocated to traditional media outlets, placing some economic constraints on digital outlets. Political allocation of official advertising plays a major role in shaping media content at both the federal and local levels.1
The Fernández administration has continued a Macri-era trend of allocating funds based on positive news coverage.2 Of the 7.6 billion pesos ($75.3 million) allocated to 2,432 media outlets by the national government for official advertising between December 2020 and August 2021, 68 percent was allocated to 25 media groups. Grupo Clarín, which had benefited most from official advertising between 2016 and 2019 for their Macri-friendly coverage, again received the most funding (949.3 million pesos or $9.4 million). Other top recipients included Fernández-friendly media conglomerates Indalo and Octubre.3
During that time, only 23 percent of state funding was allocated to digital media. Funding was heavily concentrated in the capital, with 63 percent directed at Buenos Aires–based media.4
The continued distribution of funds along editorial lines is reportedly further evidenced by allocations that are incommensurate with viewership. For instance, Fernández-friendly media group El Destape—which consists only of a website and an FM radio station—received the 15th largest amount of state funding for media groups (87.3 million pesos or $865,000), more than media groups with notably larger audiences. Furthermore, the list of national-advertising beneficiaries included hundreds of websites and blogs that ardently support the current administration.5
In April 2019, the Senate approved a new law regulating the financing of political campaigns.6 It notably mandates that 60 percent of public resources for political-party digital advertising be allocated to digital news sites that generate content, 35 percent to outlets providing national coverage, and 25 percent to provincial outlets focusing on local content. This responds to media associations’ demands to compensate for losses due to the migration of advertising to search engines and social networks.7
- 1In June 2016, the Public Communication Secretary issued an administrative resolution regulating the allocation of official advertising according to objective criteria, such as media reach, relevance of the message, geographic zone and plurality of voices. “Resolución 247 - E/2016 [Resolution 247-E/2016],” InfoLEG, August 24, 2016, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/260000-264999/26…. A 2018 bill also seeks to regulate government expenditure in advertising, including digital platforms. “Argentina Proyecto de la Ley Regulacion de la Publicidad y Comunicacion official [Argentina proposed Regulation Law of Advertising and Communication Office],” CELE, 2018, https://observatoriolegislativocele.com/argentina-proyecto-de-ley-regul….
- 2Santiago Marino, Agustín Espada, “Macri: ‘Nunca antes se gastó menos plata en pauta publicitaria que en este gobierno [Macri: Never before was less money spent on advertising than in this government],” Chequeado, April 15, 2019, https://chequeado.com/ultimas-noticias/macri-nunca-antes-se-gasto-menos…; Santiago Marino, Agustín Espada, “Cómo reparte la Ciudad la publicidad official [How the City distributes official advertising],” Letra P, July 30, 2018, https://www.letrap.com.ar/nota/2018-7-30-16-6-0-como-reparte-la-ciudad-….; Santiago Marino, Agustín Espada, “Pauta oficial: radiografía de una distribución discrecional y electoralista [Official advertising: X-ray of a discretionary and electoral distribution],” Tiempo Argentino, February 7, 2020, https://www.tiempoar.com.ar/politica/pauta-oficial-radiografia-de-una-d…
- 3Joseph Crettaz, “Pauta oficial: el Gobierno gastó $7563 millones en un reparto que tuvo premios y castigos [Expenditure on advertisment: government spent 7563 million pesos in a allocation with winners and losers],” La Nación October 7, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/pauta-oficial-el-gobierno-gasto-75…; Santiago Marino and Agustín Espada, “El Gobierno concentró la pauta en grupos tradicionales, con Clarín a la cabeza, seguido por Indalo, Octubre, América y Telefe [Government allocated most of the advertisement on traditional groups with Clarín at the top followed by Indalo, Octubre, América and Telefé],” Diario AR, January 23, 2021, https://www.eldiarioar.com/politica/gobierno-concentro-pauta-grupos-tra…
- 4Joseph Crettaz, “Pauta oficial: el Gobierno gastó $7563 millones en un reparto que tuvo premios y castigos [Expenditure on advertisment: government spent 7563 million pesos in a allocation with winners and losers],” La Nación October 7, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/pauta-oficial-el-gobierno-gasto-75…; Santiago Marino and Agustín Espada, “El Gobierno concentró la pauta en grupos tradicionales, con Clarín a la cabeza, seguido por Indalo, Octubre, América y Telefe [Government allocated most of the advertisement on traditional groups with Clarín at the top followed by Indalo, Octubre, América and Telefé],” Diario AR, January 23, 2021, https://www.eldiarioar.com/politica/gobierno-concentro-pauta-grupos-tra…
- 5Joseph Crettaz, “Pauta oficial: el Gobierno gastó $7563 millones en un reparto que tuvo premios y castigos [Expenditure on advertisment: government spent 7563 million pesos in a allocation with winners and losers],” La Nación October 7, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/pauta-oficial-el-gobierno-gasto-75…
- 6“Law 26.215” La Politica Online, April 16, 2019: https://es.scribd.com/document/407510856/S3698-18PL-2#download&from_emb…
- 7“El Senado aprobó la ley de financiamiento electoral con respaldo a los medios digitales [The Senate passed the electoral financing law with support for digital media],” La Politica Online, April 16, 2019, https://www.lapoliticaonline.com/nota/118769-el-senado-aprobo-la-ley-de….
|Does the online information landscape lack diversity and reliability?||3.003 4.004|
Argentina has an open and diverse online media environment. The digital ecosystem is populated with initiatives and content that reflect the interests of different groups, including Indigenous groups,1 LGBT+ people,2 feminists,3 and various religious congregations.4 However, media ownership is highly concentrated, which may in turn affect the diversity of news in the market (see B6).5
Several civil society initiatives have sought to counter online misinformation and disinformation and render the online media ecosystem more reliable in recent years. Reverso, a collaborative project coordinated by fact-checking organization Chequeado and consisting of more than 40 media organizations, returned ahead of the November 2021 legislative elections to combat misleading or false electoral information.6 The project was initially launched in 2019 ahead of that year’s presidential election.7
- 1Juan José Basante, “Internet, otro espacio para la organización. Pueblo Mapuche de Neuquén [Internet, another space for the organization. Mapuche town of Neuquén],” Voces en el Fénix [Voices in the Phoenix], accessed August 18, 2020, http://www.vocesenelfenix.com/content/internet-otro-espacio-para-la-org….
- 2“La Agencia [The Agency],” Agencia Presentes, accessed August 18, 2020, https://agenciapresentes.org/la-agencia/.
- 3“Manifesto ¿Por qué Periódicas?” [Manifesto, Why Periodicas?], Periodicas, March 6, 2019, https://periodicas.com.ar/2019/03/06/manifiesto-por-que-periodicas/.
- 4“Home,” Gaceta Cristiana [Christian Gazette], accessed August 18, 2020, https://www.gacetacristiana.com.ar/.
- 5“Argentina’s media: Big business for a few” Reporters without borders, April 10, 2019, https://rsf.org/en/news/argentinas-media-big-business-few.; “The Macri Era: the market rules” Media Ownership Monitor Argentina, accessed August 18, 2020, http://argentina.mom-rsf.org/en/findings/media-regulations/.
- 6“Vuelve Reverso, la alianza de medios contra la desinformación electoral [Reverso, the media alliance against election disinformation, is back ],” La Voz,, August 4, 2021, https://www.lavoz.com.ar/politica/vuelve-reverso-la-alianza-de-medios-c…
- 7Harrison Mantas, “Reverso builds a culture of accountability ahead of Argentina’s midterm elections,” Poynter, August 17, 2021, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/reverso-builds-a-culture-of-…
|Do conditions impede users’ ability to mobilize, form communities, and campaign, particularly on political and social issues?||6.006 6.006|
Argentines continue to use social media as a tool for political mobilization. Digital activism has played a crucial role in rallying protests and ushering in legislative change in recent years, especially for women’s rights.
Nationwide demonstrations against gender-based violence (GBV) took place in June 2022, after the coverage period, as part of a movement that began seven years prior following protests that began with the Twitter hashtag campaign, #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less).1 The hashtag initially went viral on social media in June 2015,2 and remained one of the most tweeted hashtags in subsequent years.3 Activists continued to use digital channels to spread the movement’s message in June 2022, including through an initiative that involved family members of femicide victims sharing their stories on social media.4 Another online campaign addressing gender issues, #PeriodismoConDiversidad (Journalism with Diversity), was launched in April 2022. Women journalists and dedicated gender editors shared videos accompanied with the hashtag in which they called for improved coverage of gender issues and the greater inclusion of women and other marginalized groups in media.5
The legalization of abortion in December 2020, during the previous coverage period, was widely seen as the result of the #NiUnaMenos movement.6 Social media played a key role in facilitating discussion during the legislative debate held in the month before the decision. Hashtags both supporting and opposing the right to abortion trended during the legislative session, the livestreams of which were watched by a record audience of more than 48,000 people.7
During the coverage period, ahead of November 2021 legislative elections, COVID-19-related restrictions on public gatherings led political parties and candidates to rely largely on social media for campaigning.8 Candidates used platforms like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to communicate with voters.9
- 1“Ni Una Menos”: miles de mujeres marcharon en todo el país contra la violencia machista [Not one less: thousands of women mobilized across the country against sexist violence],” Infobae, June 3, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/sociedad/2022/06/03/ni-una-menos-miles-de-mujer…; Argentina legalises abortion in landmark moment for women's rights,” The Guardian, December 30, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/30/argentina-legalises-abort…; Argentine marches condemn domestic violence,” BBC, June 4, 2015, http://bbc.in/1SXuUoa; “Histórica marcha contra la violencia machista” [Historic march against gender violence], Clarín, June 4, 2015, http://clar.in/1KB2azu.
- 2Guillermo Tomoyose, “Del mundo online a la marcha: el mapa con las repercusiones de #NiUnaMenos en Twitter [From the online world to the march: the map with the impact of #NiUnaMenos on Twitter],” La Nación, June 2015, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/tecnologia/del-mundo-on-line-a-la-marcha-el….
- 3“Ni una menos: así se gestó el nuevo “Nunca más” que movilizó a miles de mujeres contra la violencia machista [Not one less: how the new "Never again" was created, which mobilized thousands of women against sexist violence [Not one less],” Infobae, June 3, 2021, https://www.infobae.com/sociedad/2021/06/03/ni-una-menos-asi-se-gesto-e…
- 4“Ni Una Menos”: miles de mujeres marcharon en todo el país contra la violencia machista [Not one less: thousands of women mobilized across the country against sexist violence],” Infobae, June 3, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/sociedad/2022/06/03/ni-una-menos-miles-de-mujer…
- 5Márcia Carmo, “How the ‘Ni Una Menos’ movement was a watershed in the coverage of gender issues in Argentina,” LatAm Journalism Review, June 6, 2022, https://latamjournalismreview.org/articles/how-the-ni-una-menos-movemen…
- 6Argentina legalises abortion in landmark moment for women's rights,” The Guardian, December 30, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/30/argentina-legalises-abort…; Argentine marches condemn domestic violence,” BBC, June 4, 2015, http://bbc.in/1SXuUoa; “Histórica marcha contra la violencia machista” [Historic march against gender violence], Clarín, June 4, 2015, http://clar.in/1KB2azu.
- 7“Aborto legal: cómo es el debate de "verdes" y "celestes" en las redes [Legal abortion: how is the debate between “greens” and “skyblues” in social media],” Perfil, December 10, 2020 https://www.perfil.com/noticias/sociedad/aborto-legal-como-es-debate-de…
- 8“Elecciones: Las redes, con mayor peso en las campañas que se vienen [Elections: Social media with more influence in the upcoming campaigns],” La Nación, July 17, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/ideas/elecciones-las-redes-con-mayor-peso-e…; “La campaña electoral se muda y gana peso en las redes sociales [Electoral campaigns gain ground in social media],” Los Andes, August 24, 2021, https://www.losandes.com.ar/politica/la-campana-electoral-se-muda-y-gan…
- 9“PASO 2021: los políticos en las redes sociales, quiénes son los más activos y quiénes tienen más menciones [PASO 2021: politicians in social media, who are the most active y who has more mentions],” Cronista, September 10, 2021, https://www.cronista.com/economia-politica/paso-2021-los-politicos-en-l…
|Do the constitution or other laws fail to protect rights such as freedom of expression, access to information, and press freedom, including on the internet, and are they enforced by a judiciary that lacks independence?||4.004 6.006|
Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution1 and through the ratification of regional and international human rights treaties that share constitutional status.2 Argentina also explicitly established online freedom of expression protections through a presidential decree issued in 1997.3 These were expanded by the National Congress in 2005 to include “the search, reception, and dissemination of ideas and information of all kinds via internet services.”4 A national freedom of information law came into force in 2016.5
While the Supreme Court is relatively independent, Argentina’s judicial system has faced criticism in the past for inefficiencies and accusations of politicization in lower and province-level courts. In 2019, civil rights groups denounced a decision to investigate a federal judge who was looking into allegations of illegal surveillance operations and extortion, with potential links to government allies.6 Meanwhile, press freedom groups expressed alarm when several journalists were named in the judge’s investigation, decrying a judicial attempt to “criminalize interviews and professional secrecy.”7
- 1Article 14, “Constitución de la Nación Argentina [Argentina’s National Constitution],” InfoLEG, accessed August 18, 2020, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma….
- 2Article 75.22, “Constitución de la Nación Argentina [Argentina’s National Constitution],” InfoLEG accessed August 18, 2020, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma….
- 3“Decree 1279/97,” Ministerio de la Hacienda [Argentina Treasury Department], December 1, 1997, http://mepriv.mecon.gov.ar/Normas/1279-97.htm.
- 4“Ley 26.032 [Law 26.032],” InfoLEG, May 18, 2005, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/105000-109999/10….
- 5“Ley 27.275 [Law 27.275]”, InfoLEG, September 29, 2016, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/265000-269999/26…; “Decreto 1044/2016 [Decree 1044/2016],” InfoLEG, September 28, 2016, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/265000-269999/26….
- 6“Organismos de DD. HH. pidieron respaldar la investigación de Ramos Padilla [Human Rights Organizations asked to support the investigation of Ramos Padilla],” Tiempo Argentina, May 2, 2019, https://www.tiempoar.com.ar/nota/organismos-de-dd-hh-pidieron-respaldar…; “Argentina: Inquiry Threatens Judicial Independence,” Human Rights Watch, March 19, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/19/argentina-inquiry-threatens-judicia….
- 7Alessandra Monnerat, “Press freedom organizations defend Argentine journalists after allegations of involvement with espionage and extortion,” Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, March 21, 2019, https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-20684-press-freedom-organizatio….
|Are there laws that assign criminal penalties or civil liability for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||2.002 4.004|
Some laws impose criminal and civil liability for online activities, though defamatory statements regarding matters of public interest were decriminalized in 2009.1 Law 11.723 holds liable those who reproduce content that violates intellectual property by any means and establishes sanctions ranging from fines to six years in prison. In November 2013, the National Congress approved a law amending the penal code and establishing penalties of up to four years’ imprisonment for online contact with a minor carried out “with the purpose of committing a crime against [the minor’s] sexual integrity.”2 The proposal had sparked criticism among academics and legislators due to vague wording that would have criminalized any online interaction with minors, issuing the same sentence that is mandated for cases of abuse.3
A 2008 cybercrime law amended the criminal code to prohibit distribution and possession of child sexual abuse images, interception of communications and informatics systems, hacking, and electronic fraud. Some of the terms used in the legislation have been criticized as ambiguous, which could lead to overly broad interpretation.4
Other bills that could be used to punish certain forms of online speech due to broad wording were still under review at the end of the coverage period. These include legislative initiatives to impose prison sentences for identity theft online and the dissemination of nonconsensual intimate images and to criminalize “cyberbullying” and stalking.5
- 1“Eduardo Kimel v. Argentina: May 2010 Law 26.551”, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAHCR), accessed August 18, 2020, https://iachr.lls.edu/sites/default/files/iachr/Cases/gonzaleze_eduardo….
- 2“Ley 26.904 [Law 26.904],” InfoLEG, November 13, 2013, http://servicios.infoeg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/220000-224999/223….
- 3“En Delito de ‘Grooming’ en la Legislación Penal Actual y Proyectada en Argentina [On the Crime of ‘Grooming in Current and Projected Criminal Legislation in Argentina], CELE, March 2016, https://www.palermo.edu/cele/pdf/investigaciones/Informe-Anteproyecto-C….
- 4“Ley 26.388 [Law 26.388],” InfoLEG, June 4, 2008, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/140000-144999/14….
- 5“Número de expediente 1687/21 [Case file 1687/21],” Senado Argentina, accessed March 27, 2022, https://www.senado.gob.ar/parlamentario/parlamentaria/449238/downloadPdf,; “Número de expediente 569/21 [Case file 569/21],” Senado Argentina, accessed March 27, 2022, https://www.senado.gob.ar/parlamentario/parlamentaria/444701/downloadPdf,; “Número de expediente 29/21 [Case file 29/21],” Senado Argentina, accessed March 27, 2022, https://www.senado.gob.ar/parlamentario/parlamentaria/443288/downloadPdf,; “Número de expediente 0195-D-2022 [Case file 0195-D-2022],” Diputados Argentina, accessed March 27, 2022, https://www.hcdn.gob.ar/proyectos/proyecto.jsp?exp=0195-D-2022
|Are individuals penalized for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||5.005 6.006|
Score Change: The score improved from 4 to 5 because criminal charges against users for their online speech were imposed less often than when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Internet users do not generally face politically motivated arrests or prosecutions for online speech. However, journalists have been charged for their digital activities; users have been fined or investigated for social media comments; and social media monitoring has led to investigations being launched against online users.
Journalists and online personalities have faced charges and proceedings in relation to their digital activities, though charges tend to ultimately be dropped. Daniel Santoro, an investigative journalist for national newspaper Clarín, was charged with attempted extortion in April 2021 based on a judge’s claims that Santoro, who had requested comment on an article via a WhatsApp message, was a “necessary participant” in a broader extortion scheme. If found guilty, he would have faced up to five years in prison.1 A federal court revoked the decision in June 2021 citing a lack of evidence.2 The last charge against Santoro was ultimately dropped in November 2021, in another federal court decision that stressed Santoro’s behavior as a neutral and noncriminal outcome of his journalistic profession.3
In 2020, a court ruled that Diego Masci, a journalist and director of the zbol.com.ar outlet, engaged in criminal violation of privacy, issuing a 90,000-peso ($1,100) fine. In November 2021, a San Luis court upheld the ruling. The initial decision stemmed from a video that Masci had published online showing government minister Natalia Spinuzza under the influence of marijuana—a video that the court also ordered Google to remove from YouTube. Press freedom groups voiced concern over the ruling, which cited the lack of a public interest component, arguing that the video ceased being private when Spinuzza recorded and distributed it to third parties.4 In August 2022, after the coverage period, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling, citing a lack of appropriate consideration of Spinuzza’s status as a public figure and consequently of the right to freedom of expression more broadly in the San Luis court ruling.5
In February 2022, libertarian journalist and YouTuber Eduardo Prestofelippo (also known as El Presto) was sentenced to 30 days’ house arrest for discrimination and harassment against the first lady, Fabiola Yáñez. The charges stem from two YouTube videos and a Facebook post made by Prestofelippo in 2020, in which he made insulting remarks about Yáñez’s private life. Prestofelippo was also ordered to take a course on gender violence and respect for women at the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism, a state agency.6 Previously, in September 2020, Prestofelippo was arrested during a police raid on his home after he allegedly tweeted death threats to Vice President Fernández de Kirchner; the charges were dismissed that December when a judge ruled the tweet protected under freedom of expression standards.7
In June 2021, a federal court reversed charges of public intimidation against a citizen who posted a tweet criticizing former president Macri and threatening to put a bomb in the Casa Rosada, the official presidential office. The court highlighted that the tweet did not intend to generate alarm or threaten the commission of a crime and was made in a context that did not warrant criminal proceedings.8
Criminal complaints, fines, and threats of legal action were wielded against journalists for pandemic-related Facebook content during the previous coverage period. In January 2021, the municipality of Quilmes filed a criminal complaint against Roberto Carrigall, an anchor and reporter for Del Bosque Radio who also reports via his Facebook account. Carrigall alleged that a municipality-run hospital damaged COVID-19 vaccine doses by improperly handling them in a Facebook post. He faces up to six years in prison if charged, though there were no updates on the case by the end of the current coverage period.9 In June 2020, journalist Ariel Barrios was fined 40,000 pesos ($494) for spreading allegedly false information about the pandemic on Facebook, using a municipal ordinance that imposed fines for disseminating such content online.10 The fine against her was reversed after the city council repealed the ordinance later that month.11
- 1“Argentine court charges journalist Daniel Santoro with attempted extortion Committee to Protect Journalists,” Committee to Protect Journalists, April 22, 2021, https://cpj.org/2021/04/argentine-court-charges-journalist-daniel-santo…
- 2“The Federal Chamber revoked the prosecution of journalist Daniel Santoro in a case for alleged extortion,” Archyde, June 25, 2021, https://www.archyde.com/the-federal-chamber-revoked-the-prosecution-of-…
- 3“Caso D’Alessio: la Cámara Federal de Mar del Plata dejó sin efecto el procesamiento al periodista Daniel Santoro [D’Alessio case: Mar del Plata Federal Court dropped charges against journalist Santoro],” Infobae, November 25, 2021, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/11/25/caso-dalessio-la-camara-fed…
- 4“A new ruling in San Luis impacts freedom of expression,” ADEPA, November 30, 2021, https://adepa.org.ar/un-nuevo-fallo-en-san-luis-impacta-sobre-la-libert…
- 5Patricia White, “La Corte Suprema dejó sin efecto la condena contra un periodista por difundir un video de una funcionaria fumando marihuana [The Supreme Court annulled the conviction against a journalist for disseminating a video of an official smoking marijuana],” Infobae, August 12, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/08/12/la-corte-suprema-dejo-sin-e…
- 6“El youtuber “El Presto” fue condenado a 30 días de prisión domiciliaria por hostigar y discriminar a la primera dama Fabiola Yañez [Youtuber El Presto was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest for hileand and discriminating First Lady Fabiola Yáñez],” Infobae, February 1, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/02/01/el-youtuber-el-presto-fue-c…
- 7“Detuvieron a El Presto, el youtuber que amenazó a Cristina Kirchner en Twitter [El Presto, youtuber who threatened Cristina Kirchner on Twitter, under arrest],” El Litoral, September 10, 2020 https://www.ellitoral.com/index.php/id_um/258105-detuvieron-a-el-presto…; “Córdoba. Sobreseyeron al tuitero que amenazó a Cristina Kirchner [Córdoba. Charges against twitter user who threatened Cristina Kirchner were dismissed],” La Nación, December 9 2020 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/cordoba-sobreseyeron-al-tuitero-am…
- 8“Twittear en broma no es delito [Tweeting jokingly is not a crime],” Diario Judicial, July 22, 2022, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/89769
- 9“Argentine municipal government files criminal complaint over journalist’s COVID-19 vaccine reporting,” Committee to Protect Journalists, January 20, 2021, https://cpj.org/2021/01/argentine-municipal-government-files-criminal-c…
- 10“Salta: Rechazo a multa a trabajador de prensa [Salta: Rejection of a fine for a press worker],” FATPREN, June 23, 2020 https://fatpren.org.ar/rechazo-a-multa-a-trabajador-de-prensa/; “El intendente de Pichanal multó a un comunicador [The mayor of Pichanal fined a communicator],” Página 12, June 23, 2020, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/274042-el-intendente-de-pichanal-multo-a-un….
- 11FOPEA, @FOPEA, “Hay que resaltar que el Concejo Deliberante de Pichanal, derogó esta tarde la cuestionada disposición municipal dictada en hilean de la pandemia y que luego el intendente Domínguez anuló la multa.” Twitter, June 25, 2020, https://twitter.com/FOPEA/status/1276220530719408130
|Does the government place restrictions on anonymous communication or encryption?||2.002 4.004|
The Argentine government does not impose restrictions on anonymity or encryption for internet users, but registration requirements are in place for obtaining a mobile phone or a domain name (see A5). Bloggers and internet users are not required to register with the government and can post anonymous comments freely in online forums.
Telecommunications operators must register users’ identification information before selling them mobile phones or prepaid SIM cards.1 A resolution signed in October 2016 established a database of personal information, requiring ENACOM to adopt measures to identify all mobile communications users in a national registry.2 Mobile service providers must store the information in a safe and auditable manner, and supply information on request to the judiciary or public prosecutors. The resolution does not state how long the information must be stored. Civil society groups criticized the policy for undermining anonymity and freedom of expression.3
In July 2016, the National Directorate for the Registry of Internet Domain Names launched a new regulation for the administration of domain names.4 In order to register, transfer, or cancel a domain, individuals must apply for a “tax password” (Clave Fiscal) by providing the Federal Administration of Public Revenues with fingerprints, a facial photo, and their signature.5
- 1“Ley 25.891 [Law 25.891],” InfoLEG, April 28, 2004, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/95000-99999/9522….
- 2“ Resolución Conjunta 6 – E/2016 [Joint Resolution 6 – E/2016],” Ministry of Security and Ministry of Communications, October 26, 2016, https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/153684/20161110.
- 3“Preocupaciones acerca del Registro de Identidad de Usuarios de celulares” [Concerns amid the Mobile phone Users Registry], ADC, November 11, 2016, https://adc.org.ar/2016/11/11/preocupaciones-acerca-del-registro-de-ide….
- 4“Resolución 110/2016 [Resolution 110/2016],” National Directorate for the Registry of Internet Domain Names, July 27, 2019, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/260000-264999/26….
- 5“Por qué para registrar un dominio .ar ahora será necesario tener clave fiscal [Why is a fiscal key now needed to register a .ar domain?],” La Nación, June 6, 2016, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/tecnologia/para-registrar-un-dominio-ar-aho….
|Does state surveillance of internet activities infringe on users’ right to privacy?||3.003 6.006|
In general, Argentina has strong, constitutionally rooted privacy standards. Though covert or unlawful surveillance does not seem to be widespread, some sectors have attempted to spy on internet users. Security services engage in monitoring of journalists’ online activities.
Government agencies do not systematically collect or access internet users’ metadata directly, but they may request it from service providers with a warrant,1 which has been upheld by the judiciary regarding information like geolocation data.2 Interception of private communications requires judicial authorization.3
The Ministry of Security has consistently recommended that federal police engage in “cyberpatrolling” since 2017, when the email and Twitter account of the minister at the time were hacked.4 This practice involves a proactive approach to identifying illicit activities online, mainly by searching social media platforms and monitoring results, without appropriate transparency measures or safeguards.5
In May 2020, the ministry published a protocol through Resolution 144/2020 that outlined general principles and guidelines for authorities engaging in such cyberpatrolling.6 Though the AAIP suggested that the protocol be suspended or changed to comply with the national data protection law and the right to privacy following the AAIP’s review that June, it remains unclear whether the government has accepted the recommendations.7
In March 2022, the Federal Chamber excluded a report stemming from an investigation into whether former president Macri and other officials pressured members of the judiciary; the defendants alleged the report relied on cyberpatrolling. In November 2021, a federal prosecutor had originally ordered an agency under the Supreme Court to report all critical public statements, including via social media, made by Macri and officials close to him between 2015 and 2019. That month, the Bar Association of the City of Buenos Aires criticized the order as a violation of free-expression rights; in its rejection of the report as evidence, the Federal Chamber said it invasively and excessively infringed upon people’s democratic rights.8
The Federal Intelligence Agency has been found to have carried out illegal surveillance during the presidency of Mauricio Macri, from 2015 to 2019. Targets included journalists, politicians, and political and social organizations.9 In December 2021, Macri was charged with ordering the illegal surveillance of the relatives of 44 sailors who died when their submarine sank in 2017. Family members reported having their email addresses, social media, and other accounts hacked in 2018. Macri denied the charges, calling them politically motivated.10 A federal court dismissed the charges in July 2022, after the coverage period, labelling the operation justified based on its “sole objective” of preserving “presidential and/or internal security.”11
Previously, in June 2020, prosecutor Cristina Caamaño presented findings of an audit of the agency to the Eleventh Federal Criminal and Correctional Court that revealed that agents had monitored and stored personal information of over 400 journalists seeking to cover major international summits held in Buenos Aires in 2017 and 2018. Agents had assembled detailed profiles of individuals who requested accreditation to cover the event, which included photos, employer names, social media profiles and posts, and comments about their political ideology or opinions. Those deemed critical of then president Macri were noted as having a “critical political posture.”12
Cellebrite, an Israel-based digital intelligence company, has supplied federal security forces with tools for hacking into locked mobile devices since the early 2010s.13
Citizens’ personal information contained in the databases of the National Administration of Social Security (ANSES) can be transferred to the Public Communication Secretariat (SCP).14 A court ruled in 2018, however, that ANSES could not share a woman’s phone number and email address with the SCP without the woman’s consent.15
During the Macri administration, the Supreme Court established an Office of Capturing of Communications to intercept communications.16 Digital rights groups raised concerns about the office’s lack of autonomy, especially as it is housed within a criminal-investigation directorate.17
- 1“Halabi Ernesto v. PEN Ley 28.873 s/amparo ley 16.986”, Supreme Court case https://www.cij.gov.ar/nota-615-La-Corte-reconoce-accion-colectiva-y-da…
- 2“Recalculando [Recalculating],” Diario Judicial, September 14, 2018, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/81551/penal/recalculando.html.
- 3“Ley 25.520 [Law 25.520],” Art. 5, InfoLEG, November 27, 2001, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/70000-74999/7049….
- 4“State of Privacy Argentina,” Privacy International, January 23, 2019, https://privacyinternational.org/state-privacy/57/state-privacy-argenti…
- 5“Se relanzó la Policía Federal con su nueva función de ‘ciberpatrullaje’ [The Federal Police was relaunched with new “cyber-patrolling” functions],” Clarín, April 18, 2017, https://www.clarin.com/policiales/relanzo-policia-federal-nueva-funcion…; Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), “Seguidores que no vemos” [Unseen Followers], October 2018, https://adc.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/045-seguidores-que-no-vem…
- 6Agustina Del Campo and Morena Schatzky, “Cyber patrol or intelligence?”, Centro de Estudios en Libertad de Expresión y Acceso a la Información, https://observatoriolegislativocele.com/en/cyber-patrol-or-intelligence/
- 7Access to public Information Agency, “Respuesta a nota sobre Mesa Consultiva para la evaluación y seguimiento del Protocolo General para la Prevención Policial del Delito con uso de Fuentes Digitales Abiertas [Response to note on Consultative Board for reviewing General Protocol for Crime Prevention through the use of open access data],” July 23, 2020 https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/no-2020-47326285-apn-a…
- 8“Un ciberperitaje judicial hilean tuits y likes de dirigentes opositores en las redes y los medios: denuncias y reclamos a la Corte [A judicial investigation looked into tweets and likes from opposition leaders: accusations and complaints to the Court ],” Infobae, November 10, 2021, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/11/10/el-colegio-de-abogados-port…; “Judicial Table: The Federal Chamber confirmed that the expertise on tweets and likes of opponents is not valid as evidence,” Infobae, March 14, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/en/2022/03/14/judicial-table-the-federal-chambe…
- 9Amy Booth, “Inside An Illegal Government Spy Ring in Argentina,” May 24, 2021, Vice, https://www.vice.com/en/article/88nqm4/inside-an-illegal-government-spy…; Daniel Politi, “Macri, Ex-President of Argentina, Is Charged With Illegal Surveillance,” The New York Times, December 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/02/world/americas/marci-submarine-espio…
- 10Amy Booth, “Inside An Illegal Government Spy Ring in Argentina,” May 24, 2021, Vice, https://www.vice.com/en/article/88nqm4/inside-an-illegal-government-spy…; Daniel Politi, “Macri, Ex-President of Argentina, Is Charged With Illegal Surveillance,” The New York Times, December 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/02/world/americas/marci-submarine-espio…
- 11Patricia White, “Por qué la Cámara Federal dijo que Macri no cometió delito de espionaje sobre los familiares del ARA San Juan [Why the Federal Chamber said that Macri did not commit a crime of espionage on the relatives of the ARA San Juan],” Infobae July 15, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/07/15/por-que-la-camara-federal-d…
- 12“Audit finds that Argentine intelligence services compiled files on hundreds of journalists”, CPJ, June 16, 2020, https://cpj.org/2020/06/audit-finds-that-argentine-intelligence-service….
- 13Surveillance Tech In Latin America: Made Abroad, Deployed at Home, August 2021, Access Now, https://www.accessnow.org/cms/assets/uploads/2021/08/Surveillance-Tech-…
- 14“Resolución 166- E/2016” [Resolution 166- E/2016], InfoLEG, July 21, 2016, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/260000-264999/26….
- 15“La Justicia limitó el uso que el Gobierno puede darle a los datos de ciudadanos” [Justice limited the use that the Government can give of citizen data], infobae, September 10, 2018, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2018/09/10/la-justicia-limito-el-uso-q…
- 16“Acordada no 30/2016 [Supreme Court Agreement 30/2016],” Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nacion [Supreme Court], September 29, 2016, http://old.csjn.gov.ar/docus/documentos/verdoc.jsp?ID=100091.
- 17Eduardo Ferreyra, “El cambio que no llega [The change that doesn’t come],” ADC, April 2, 2017, https://adc.org.ar/informes/cambio-no-llega-sistema-de-inteligencia/.
|Does monitoring and collection of user data by service providers and other technology companies infringe on users’ right to privacy?||4.004 6.006|
A number of measures to protect Argentine users’ data and communications are in place, and the courts have upheld rulings that protect privacy.1 However, there are some mechanisms by which service providers and companies can be compelled to provide user information under certain circumstances.
In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that 2003 data retention legislation represented a violation of privacy rights.2
A 2013 resolution by the Communications Secretariat of the Ministry of Federal Planning introduced data retention requirements for the purpose of assessing the quality of services, requiring providers to store data related to quality indicators for three years. It states that providers should guarantee the telecommunications regulator “free access” to installations and should provide “all the information that is required in the set manner and timeframe.”3
The Criminal Procedure Code states that, if a judge orders them to do so, communication service providers must be able to immediately intercept data for a period of up to 30 days, with the possibility of an extension. Providers are held criminally liable in cases of noncompliance.4 Companies can be sanctioned for not complying with a provision under the Argentina Digital Act (Law 27.078), which mandates ICT providers share information with competent authorities when requested.5
In March 2022, after the position had been vacant for more than a year, political scientist Beatriz de Anchorena was appointed AAIP director. The appointment was criticized both by civil society organizations and the opposition for de Anchorena’s lack of expertise, as well as doubts about her impartiality due to her past membership in the Patria Institute, a think tank founded and overseen by Fernández de Kirchner.6 The National Auditor General's Office released an audit report on the AAIP that same month concluding that the agency had not developed or implemented tools that effectively protected personal data, highlighting shortcomings in the operation of various national registries.7
- 1“Tratamiento de datos personales ante el Coronavirus [Data processing amid the coronavirus],” Agencia de Acceso a la Información Pública, March 11, 2020, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/tratamiento-de-datos-personales-a….; “Protección de datos personales y geolocalización [Data protection and geolocalization],” Agencia de Acceso a la Información Pública, April 29, 2020, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/proteccion-de-datos-personales-y-…
- 2“Argentina,” EFF, accessed August 18, 2020, https://www.eff.org/issues/mandatory-data-retention/argentina.
- 3“Resolución 5/2013” [Resolution 5/2013], InfoLEG, January 7, 2013, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/215000-219999/21….
- 4Article 150, Criminal Procedure Code, InfoLEG, accessed March 23, 2020, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/315000-319999/31….
- 5Article 62.g, Law 27.078, InfoLEG, accessed March 23, 2020, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/235000-239999/23….
- 6“El Gobierno hilea a una militante del Instituto Patria al frente de la Agencia de Acceso a la Información Pública [Instituto Patria’s affiliate was appointed by the government as head of the Access to Public Information Agency],” La Nación, March 10, 2022, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/el-gobierno-designo-a-una-militant…
- 7“La Auditoría General de la Nación detectó incumplimientos y vulneración de derechos en el funcionamiento de la Agencia en su anterior hilean [General Audit Office of the Nation detected non-compliance and affections of rights in AAIP’s previous management],” Argentina.gob.ar, March 21, 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/la-auditoria-general-de-la-nacion…
- 8“WhatsApp no podrá cambiar las condiciones de uso por ahora [WhatsApp can’t change terms of service for now],” Página 12, March 28, 2022, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/411313-whats-app-no-podra-cambiar-las-condi…
- 9“Argentina fines Facebook for abusive privacy terms in WhatsApp,” Buenos Aires Times, January 7, 2022, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/argentina-fines-facebook-for-…
|Are individuals subject to extralegal intimidation or physical violence by state authorities or any other actor in relation to their online activities?||4.004 5.005|
Violence in reprisal for digital activities is rare, though journalists and activists, including those who work online, are subject to intimidation, harassment, and smear campaigns on social media. The Argentina Forum of Journalism (FOPEA) reported 108 cases of harassment against journalists in 2021, compared to 82 in 2020; 14 cases targeted journalists for digital outlets. Nearly 40 percent of the total cases reported involved physical, psychological, or material harassment, and the first two cases of online sexual violence against women journalists were reported.1
In October 2021, cartoonist Cristian Dzwonik (also known as Nik) received antisemitic messages and threats to his physical safety over Twitter after an exchange with Security Minister Aníbal Fernández on the platform. The exchange began when Nik accused the government of offering handouts to curry favor after an electoral defeat in the September 2021 primary contests. Fernández responded about subsidies allegedly directed to the school Nik’s daughters attended, which the cartoonist considered a veiled threat and press freedom organizations condemned as intimidation.2
Attacks against the offices of newspapers with online portals continued into the coverage period, though there was no evidence that they were in direct retaliation for the outlets’ online activities. In November 2021, assailants firebombed the Buenos Aires headquarters of Grupo Clarín. One detained suspect was identified as a supporter of a pro-Fernández political youth organization. No one was injured and the building sustained minor damage.3 In December 2021, an unidentified group threw firebombs and rocks into the headquarters of El Chubut before ransacking the building. Calls to gather at the newspaper’s headquarters had begun on social media hours before the attack, which was carried out amid protests against a new mining ordinance.4
During the previous coverage period, in March 2021, a group of about 100 individuals stormed the offices of print and online daily newspaper Rio Negro, physically assaulted two staff members, and threatened to kill journalist Luis Leiva. The attack was seen as an attempt to quash further investigative reporting into a leader of the national trade union CTA Autónoma, whose sexual assault and harassment case Leiva had been covering since April 2020.5
Online gender-based violence poses a prominent threat to female users. In June 2021, women journalists behind the La Reacción Conservadora (The Conservative Reaction) investigation reported receiving threats over the phone and having their personal information leaked online after their reporting was published (see C8).6 Amnesty International reported in 2019 that one in three women in Argentina had suffered violence on social media, nearly 60 percent of whom reported receiving sexual or misogynistic comments.7 Female political candidates are especially targeted, including with online smear campaigns.8 A study on social media violence against women and political dissidents during the 2019 electoral campaign, conducted by the Latin American Justice and Gender Team (ELA), reported that 5 percent of tweets interacting with female candidates’ official Twitter accounts included harassment or misogynistic content.9
- 1“Libertades bajo amenaza [Freedoms under threat],” FOPEA, May 3, 2022, https://www.fopea.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/FOPEA-ANUARIO-MONITORE…
- 2“Nik responsabilizó a Aníbal Fernández por las amenazas que recibe en las redes sociales: “Lo peligroso que es hilean la violencia desde lo alto del poder hacia abajo [Nik blamed Anibal Fernandez for online threats against him: It’s dangerous to incite violence from positions of power],” La Nación, October 19, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/nik-responsabilizo-a-anibal-fernan…;”Aníbal Fernández volvió a justificar su mensaje a Nik: “No me arrepiento [Aníbal Fernández once again justified his message to Nik: “I don’t regret it”],” La Nación, October 13, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/la-justificacion-de-anibal-fernand…
- 3“Clarín media group offices firebombed in Argentina,” Committee to Protect Journalists, November 30, 2021, https://cpj.org/2021/11/clarin-media-group-offices-firebombed-in-argent…
- 4“Argentine newspaper El Chubut offices torched, ransacked amid protests”, Committee to Protect Journalists, December 23, 2021, https://cpj.org/2021/12/argentine-newspaper-el-chubut-offices-torched-r…
- 5“Ataque a la prensa Militantes de la CTA destrozaron la redacción del diario Río Negro y amenazaron de hilea a un periodista [Attack to the press. Militants of the CTA vandalized Diario Rio Negro’s newsroom and threatened to kill a journalist],” Clarin, March 23, 2021, https://www.clarin.com/politica/militantes-cta-entraron-diario-rio-negr…
- 6“Sobre la reacción conservadora y elDiarioAR [On La reacción Conservadora and elDiarioAR ],” elDiarioAR, June 14, 2021, https://www.eldiarioar.com/blog/en-construccion/reaccion-conservadora-e…; Ingrid Beck, @soyingridbeck, “Me están amenazando por teléfono [I’m being threatened by phone],” Twitter, June 13, 2021, https://twitter.com/soyingridbeck/status/1404251144004714503,
- 7“Corazones Verdes: Violencia Online contra las mujeres durante el debate por la legalización del aborto en Argentina [Green hearts: online violence against women during the debate to legalize abortion in Argentina,” Amnistía Internacional Argentina, 2019, https://amnistia.org.ar/corazonesverdes/files/2019/11/corazones_verdes_…
- 8Lucía Cholakian Herrera, “In Argentina, the Next Generation Finds Its Voice,” Nacla, May 12, 2020 https://nacla.org/news/2020/05/11/argentina-next-generation-finds-its-v…
- 9““Violencia contra las mujeres y disidencias en política a través de redes sociales. Una aproximación a partir del análisis de la hilean electoral en Twitter, Facebook e Instagram durante 2019 [Political violence against women y dissidence on social media: a first approach based on the review of the electoral campaign in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram during 2019],” Equipo Latinoamericano de Género, May 2020, http://www.ela.org.ar/a2/index.cfm?muestra&aplicacion=APP187&cnl=87&opc…
|Are websites, governmental and private entities, service providers, or individual users subject to widespread hacking and other forms of cyberattack?||1.001 3.003|
Score Change: The score declined from 2 to 1 because a site hosting investigative reporting on a conversative political network was taken offline as the result of a likely technical attack in June 2021.
Government entities and commercial enterprises are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks, and digital media outlets have suffered technical attacks in recent years.
In June 2021, a website hosting the results of journalistic investigation La Reacción Conservadora (The Conservative Reaction) was taken offline shortly after it launched. The journalists behind the investigation reported that the site failure was caused by a technical attack,1 though others argued that the site crashed due to a large amount of visitor traffic.2 The website was supposed to display an investigation conducted by feminist journalists on the relationships between conservative political, religious, and social groups and individuals. The investigation sparked controversy due to its inclusion of personal information on the people investigated. The website never went online again but part of the investigation was accessible via other newspapers’ websites.3
Digital media outlets have been victims of technical attacks in the past.4 After a presidential debate in October 2019, Chequeado, which conducts live fact-checking during debates, disclosed an alleged denial-of-service (DoS) attack after their website received over 39 million server requests coming from abroad during a 6-hour time frame before and during the debate.5
Government entities are also sometimes targeted with cyberattacks. In January 2022, the Argentine Senate’s website was targeted with a ransomware attack by the Vice Society, which sought an undisclosed ransom amount. While the Senate initially stressed that only public information available on the website was stolen,6 in March 2022, the Vice Society published files stolen from the site, including legal documents and the personal information of Senate employees in the form of identification numbers, home addresses, signatures, and driver’s licenses.7
In October 2021, information from Renaper, the national agency responsible for the registration and identification of all Argentine citizens, was leaked online. An anonymous hacker claimed to have access to the personal data—including names, photos, addresses, and identification numbers—of 45 million people.8 To substantiate these claims, the attacker published photos and personal details belonging to celebrities and political officials, as well as a file containing data for 60,000 individuals. The attacker offered the complete database for the equivalent of $17,000 in cryptocurrency. The government acknowledged the unauthorized dissemination of personal data but refused to confirm that the whole database was leaked.9 Authorities also denied that a breach of or unauthorized entry into the database had taken place, instead suggesting that the leak occurred after a virtual private network (VPN) account assigned to the Health Ministry had been compromised.10
In November 2021, ransomware group Everest offered to sell access to government documents and several national government intranet systems for $200,000. According to official sources, the case is currently under investigation to confirm the veracity of the incident.11
Individuals have also been targets of cyberattacks. In June 2021, the Twitter account of National Deputy Mario Negri was hacked. Hackers tweeted violent and racist content, as well as insults to politicians from the account.12 In April 2022, the Twitter account of Buenos Aires health minister Nicolás Kreplak was hacked and used to tweet misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, including one alleging that recipients would turn into robots.13
Commercial entities and service providers have also faced ransomware attacks. During the previous coverage period, in July 2020, hackers demanded $7.5 million in cryptocurrency from Telecom Argentina in exchange for unlocking the nearly 18,000 workstations that they had encrypted using stolen credentials. Telecom Argentina later reported that it regained access without agreeing to the hackers’ demands and vowed that critical services were unaffected.14
Government agencies have sought to strengthen their cybersecurity capacity. The country’s first National Cybersecurity Strategy was launched in May 2019.15 In February 2021, the National Cybersecurity Directorate (DNC) set up the National Computer Security Incident Response Team to coordinate the handling of cybersecurity incidents in the national administration and assist in the case of attacks to critical information infrastructure.16 In June 2021, the DNC issued minimum information security requirements for all national-level public-sector organizations to prevent, detect, manage, resolve, and report cybersecurity incidents that could affect information assets.17
- 1Giselle Leclercq, “”La reacción conservadora”: la lista de la discordia [“The Conservative Reaction”: The Discord List],Noticias, June 20, 2021, https://noticias.perfil.com/noticias/informacion-general/la-reaccion-co…
- 2“Controversia por el lanzamiento de una web con listas de personas ‘conservadoras’ [Controversy over the launch of a website with lists of “conservative” people],” La Capital, June 14, 2022, https://www.lacapital.com.ar/informacion-general/controversia-el-lanzam…
- 3“Polémica por listas de dirigentes políticos y sociales en un sitio denominado Reacción Conservadora [Controversy over list of political and social figures in a website called Conservative Reaction],” Clarín, June 14, 2021, https://www.clarin.com/politica/polemica-listas-negras-dirigentes-polit…
- 4SembraMedia, “Punto de Inflexión. Impacto, amenazas y sustentabilidad: estudio de emprendedores de medios digitales latinoamericanos [Inflection Point. Impact, threats and sustainability: study of entrepreneurs of digital media in Latin America],” 2017, http://data.sembramedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Punto-de-Inflexi….
- 5Laura Zommer, “Carta a la comunidad de Chequeado [Letter to Chequeado’s Community],” Chequeado, October 15, 2019, https://chequeado.com/carta-a-la-comunidad-de-chequeado/.
- 6“El Senado de la Nación sufrió un ciberataque de ransomware: secuestran datos públicos [Senate suffered ransomware attack:public data are hijacked],” Clarin, January 14, 2022, https://www.clarin.com/tecnologia/senado-nacion-sufrio-ciberataque-rans…
- 7“Ransomware Vice Society publica datos robados del Senado argentino [Ransomware Vice Society publish data stolen from hileand Senate],” We Live Security, March 14, 2022, https://www.welivesecurity.com/la-es/2022/03/14/ransomware-vice-society…
- 8Catalin Cimpanu, “Hacker steals government ID database for Argentina’s entire population,” The Record, October 18, 2021, https://therecord.media/hacker-steals-government-id-database-for-argent…
- 9“Filtración del Renaper: difunden datos sensibles de 60.000 argentinos y piden cerca de 17 mil dólares por todos los DNI [Leak in RENAPER database: sensitive data from 60000 argentinians was disseminated 17 thousand dollars are requested for all the ID cards],” Clarín, October 23, 2021, https://www.clarin.com/tecnologia/filtracion-renaper-difunden-datos-sen…
- 10“El Renaper detectó el uso indebido de una clave otorgada a un organismo público y formalizó una denuncia penal [Renaper detected an undue use of a password and requested a criminal investigation],” Ministerio del Interior, October 13, 2021, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/el-renaper-detecto-el-uso-indebid…
- 11“Una banda de hackers puso a la venta supuestos documentos del Gobierno argentino por US$200.000 [A group of hackers is allegedly selling government documents for US$ 200.000],” La Nación, November 23, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/seguridad/una-banda-de-hackers-puso-a-la-ve…
- 12“La UCR denunció que le hackearon la cuenta de Twitter a Mario Negri [UCR denounces that Mario Negri’s Twitter account was hacked],” Clarín, June 27, 2021, https://www.clarin.com/politica/ucr-denuncio-hackearon-cuenta-twitter-m…
- 13“Identificaron a la persona que hackeo el Twitter de Nicolás Kreplak: ‘El objetivo era dañar la institucionalidad’ [They identified the person who hacked Nicolás Kreplak’s Twitter: ‘The objective was to damage the institutions’],” Clarín, April 15, 2022, https://www.clarin.com/politica/identificaron-hacker-nicolas-kreplak-ob…
- 14“Ransomware Attackers Demand Millions from Telecom Argentina,” Global Sign Blog, August 3, 2020, https://www.globalsign.com/en/blog/ransomware-attackers-demand-millions…; “Argentine telecom company hit by major ransomware attack,” Welivesecurity, July 21, 2020, https://www.welivesecurity.com/2020/07/21/telecom-argentina-hit-major-r…
- 15“Resolución 829/2019 [Resolution 829/2019],” InfoLEG, May 24, 2019, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/320000-324999/32….
- 16"Ciberataques: la Argentina ahora cuenta con un Centro Nacional de Respuesta a Incidentes Informáticos [Cyberattacks: Argentina now has a Computer Security Incident Response Team],” La Nación, February 22, 2021 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/tecnologia/ciberataques-la-argentina-ahora-…
- 17“Requisitos mínimos de seguridad de la información para organismos del Sector Público Nacional [Minimum information security standards for National Public Sector’s departments ],” Dirección Nacional de Ciberseguridad, June 29,2021, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/requisitos-minimos-de-seguridad-d…
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Global Freedom Score85 100 free
Internet Freedom Score71 100 free
Freedom in the World StatusFree