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. The Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the “right to be forgotten” does not apply to content in the public interest, setting a strong legal precedent in favor of freedom of expression in some cases of intermediary liability. Argentines also continued to use online platforms to engage on political issues, including women’s rights and economic concerns, and call for offline mobilization. Despite these positive developments, the attempted assassination of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner by an alleged right-wing extremist in September 2022 sparked controversy around the role of social media in fueling gender-based violence and hate speech more broadly in the country.
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.
- In June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the “right to be forgotten” does not apply when content falls within the public interest in Natalia Denegri v. Google. The final ruling was well-received by digital rights organizations for setting a strong precedent favoring the public interest over the right to remove online content (see B2).
- Argentines continued to use social media to mobilize protests on political and social issues. Social media campaigns played a key role in organizing demonstrations against gender-based violence and the government’s economic policies throughout the coverage period (see B8).
- In April 2023, Argentina became the second Latin American country to ratify Convention 108+, the Council of Europe’s (CoE’s) binding multilateral instrument on data protection. The data protection authority also undertook a series of consultations to draft a new data protection law, making progress in updating the country’s outdated data protection framework (see C6).
- Following the attempted assassination of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in September 2022, a mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) visited Argentina to investigate gender-based political violence in the country. The mission concluded that hate speech spread via social media could have created the conditions that led to the attack against Fernández de Kirchner, raising broader concerns about online gender-based violence against women (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 87 percent of the population using the internet according to 2021 data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the most recent information available.1
There were 7.96 million fixed-line internet subscriptions in the first trimester of 2023, a 1.5 percent year-over-year increase.2 There were approximately 37 million mobile internet users in the first trimester of 2023, a 6.4 percent increase over the previous year.3 According to 2022 data from the National Authority for Communications (ENACOM), the number of fiber-optic connections has increased by 229.8 percent since 2019, totaling more than 3 million connections by the end of 2022.4
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 the third trimester of 2022, ENACOM reported that the average fixed-line download speed was below 20 megabits per second (Mbps) in 7 provinces; between 20 and 40 Mbps in 4 provinces; and above 40 Mbps, ranging from 41 to 101 Mbps, in 12 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s federal capital.6
Projects to expand internet infrastructure continued during the coverage period. 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; in August 2022, ENACOM approved the project.7 Firmina is expected to begin operating in 2023,8 though it was not yet operational by the end of the coverage period. The 2,500-kilometer Malbec subsea cable system, which connects Argentina and Brazil, began operating in June 2021.9 ENACOM had authorized service provider GlobeNet to implement the project, which was developed in collaboration with Facebook and was envisioned to double the country’s connectivity capacity,10 in July 2020.11
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).12
- 1“Digital development dashboard,” International Telecommunication Union (ITU), accessed February 26, 2023, https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Dashboards/Pages/Digital-Develo….
- 2“Accesos a internet primer trimestre de 2023 [Internet Access First Trimester of 2023],” Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC), June 2023, https://www.indec.gob.ar/uploads/informesdeprensa/internet_06_23F1E3384….
- 3“Accesos a internet primer trimestre de 2023 [Internet Access First Trimester of 2023],” Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC), June 2023, https://www.indec.gob.ar/uploads/informesdeprensa/internet_06_23F1E3384….
- 4“Más de 200% de incremento en el acceso a Internet de fibra óptica en toda la Argentina [More than 200% increase in fiber optic Internet access throughout Argentina],” ENACOM, July 10, 2023, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/mas-de-200--de-incremento-en-el….
- 5Ookla Speedtest Global Index, “Speedtest Global Index,” January 2023, https://www.speedtest.net/global-index/argentina#fixed.
- 6“Velocidad media de bajada de Internet fijo por provincia [Average fixed Internet downstream speed by province],” ENACOM, accessed February 26, 2023, https://datosabiertos.enacom.gob.ar/dataviews/245546/velocidad-media-de….
- 7“Despliegue de cables submarinos desde Argentina hasta Estados Unidos [Installation of subsea cables from Argentina to the United States],” ENACOM, August 8, 2022, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/despliegue-de-cables-submarinos….
- 8Bikash 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….
- 9Natalie 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….
- 10Melanie 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….
- 11“ENACOM aprobó la instalación de dos cables internacionales submarinos de fibra óptica [ENACOM approved the installation of two international submarine fiber optic cables],” ENACOM, July 28, 2020, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/noticias/institucional/enacom-aprobo-la-insta….
- 12“¿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 45 percent in others, like Santa Cruz, Chaco, and Formosa. Approximately one fifth of provinces have fixed 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 (INTA) 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 In January 2023, ENACOM announced a program to provide internet to rural schools and health centers. As part of the Program for the Development of Internet Infrastructure in Public Institutions in Rural Areas, the government plans to invest 1 billion Argentine pesos (nearly $6 million) for connectivity infrastructure, its maintenance, and service provision for two years.3 In May 2023, ENACOM approved the first stage of these funds to connect public institutions in the Chaco, La Pampa, and Salta provinces.4
According to Cable, a UK–based company, the average price for 1 gigabyte (GB) of mobile data in Argentina was 188.75 Argentine pesos ($1.48) in 2022.5 Argentina’s average monthly broadband cost of 3,337 pesos ($16.84) was the second cheapest in South America in 2023, according to Cable.6 The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Inclusive Internet Index 2022 ranks Argentina 33rd out of 100 countries surveyed in terms of affordability. In Latin America, Argentina placed 5th of the 16 countries surveyed.7
In part as a response to inflation, Argentina’s main service providers have raised the cost of mobile plans in recent years.8 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).9 According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC), the monthly inflation rate for communications services was 6.7 percent as of May 2023, which was lower than the country’s overall monthly inflation rate of 7.8 percent.10
Various government initiatives have sought to promote digital inclusion. In December 2022, the government launched the “Mi Pueblo Conectado” (My Connected Town) program under the Secretariat of Public Innovation, with the goal of providing satellite internet access to more than 370 small towns with little to no connectivity and a total investment of 1.1 billion pesos ($6.4 million). As part of the project, the government plans to supply localities with funds to acquire computer equipment.11 Previously, in February 2022, ENACOM granted over 1.7 billion pesos ($9.9 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.12 In December 2020, the government launched a Universal Basic Plan (PBU) 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 2021.13 As of August 2021, 400,000 mobile-telephony plans and 5,000 internet plans had been provided.14
- 1“Penetración de internet fijo [Fixed Internet Penetration],” ENACOM, accessed February 26, 2023, https://datosabiertos.enacom.gob.ar/visualizations/32226/penetracion-de….
- 2“Conectividad a Internet, una cuenta pendiente para los parajes rurales [Internet connection, an unresolved matter for rural locations],” Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, November 8, 2021, https://inta.gob.ar/noticias/conectividad-a-internet-una-cuenta-pendien….
- 3“Escuelas rurales tendrán Internet [Rural schools will have internet],”AgroNoa, January 18, 2023, https://agronoa.com.ar/escuelas-rurales-tendran-internet/.
- 4“Nuevas medidas para garantizar la conectividad a las argentinas y los Argentinos [New measures to guarantee connectivity to Argentines],” ENACOM, May 10, 2023, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/nuevas-medidas-para-garantizar-….
- 5“Worldwide Global Data Pricing 2022,” Cable.co.uk, 2022, https://www.cable.co.uk/mobiles/worldwide-data-pricing/.
- 6“Global broadband pricing league table 2023,” Cable.co.uk, 2023, https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/pricing/worldwide-comparison/#regions.
- 7The Inclusive Internet Index, 2022, The Economist, https://impact.economist.com/projects/inclusive-internet-index/2022.
- 8“La telefonía celular arranca el 2023 con nuevos aumentos de tarifas [Mobile phone starts 2023 with new price rises],” iProUP, December 7, 2022, https://www.iprofesional.com/negocios/374041-la-telefonia-celular-arran….
- 9“El Gobierno congela 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….
- 10“De cuánto fue la inflación en Mayo de 2023 [What is the inflation rate in May 2023?],” La Nación, June 15, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/de-cuanto-fue-la-inflacion-de-mayo….
- 11“El Gobierno lanzó Mi Pueblo Conectado, un programa federal para promover el acceso a conectividad y a nuevas tecnologías [Government launched My People Connected, a federal program to foster connectivity and access to new technologies],” Secretariat of Public Innovation, January 2, 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/el-gobierno-lanzo-mi-pueblo-conec….
- 12“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-….
- 13“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….
- 14“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….
- 15“Argentina Digital,” InfoLEG, December 16, 2014, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/235000-239999/23….
- 16“Fin al internet que todos conocemos: por qué ya no es más "neutral" y las empresas lo están aprovechando para hacer negocio [The end of internet as we know it: why it is not neutral anymore and companies are taking advantage to make profits],” Cronista, August 12, 2022, https://www.cronista.com/infotechnology/actualidad/fin-al-internet-que-….
|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.
- 1“Red Nacional de IXPs 2022 [Map of Network Access Points (NAPs) 2022],” accessed February 26, 2023, https://www.cabase.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/cabase-poster-inte….
- 2“IXPs en funcionamiento [IXPs in operation],” CABASE, accessed February 26, 2023, 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 As of September 2022, the mobile sector is concentrated under market leaders Claro (América Móvil, 37.2 percent), Personal (Telecom Argentina, 34.1 percent), and Movistar (Telefónica, 27.6 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 have been partly addressed in recent years. 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
In recent years, the government and ENACOM have made decisions with the potential to increase competition, though judicial decisions have sometimes thwarted these efforts. A May 2020 prohibition 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 In November 2022, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on procedural grounds because the federal court’s earlier decision was a preliminary injunction instead of a definitive ruling. In response, Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner criticized the judiciary for allegedly interfering in matters of economic policy.11 A series of judicial rulings had extended the suspension of the presidential decree to other telecommunication companies, including Telefónica in December 2021, effectively neutralizing the government’s attempt to control prices.12
The state does not impose extensive administrative requirements or financial burdens to become a service provider. A 2017 resolution has allowed the government to push for a more “flexible and objective” ICT licensing regime.13 The process to obtain an ISP license can be completed online, with a fee of 100,000 pesos ($582), equal to 125 times the current value of the PBU.14 Providers can access ENACOM’s online platforms to fill out different forms that were simplified in order to make the process easier.15
- 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, February 2021, https://www.observacom.org/concentracion_en_internet_en_america_latina/.
- 3“Panorama de Mercado-Argentina [Market Overview-Argentina],” Telesemana, September 2022, https://www.telesemana.com/panorama-de-mercado/argentina/.
- 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],” DPL News, 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“La Corte volvió a rechazar un recurso para que el Estado fije las tarifas, como pide Cristina Kirchner [Supreme Court dismissed an appeal to grant government the power to approve price raises, as requested by Cristina Kirchner],” La Nación, November 2022, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/la-corte-volvio-a-rechazar-un-recu….
- 12“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-….
- 13“Resolución 697-E/2017 [Resolution MM N° 697/2017],” InfoLEG, December 28, 2017, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/305000-309999/30….
- 14“Licencias de Servicios de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones [Licensing of Information Technology and Communications Services],” ENACOM, accessed February 26, 2023, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/licencia-unica-de-telecomunicaciones_p750.
- 15“Inscripción online para proveedores de acceso a internet [Online registration to internet service providers],” ENACOM, August 19, 2016, https://www.enacom.gob.ar/institucional/inscripcion-online-para-proveed….
|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 body’s composition has raised some concerns about possible executive influence. ENACOM operates within the public innovation secretariat, under the chief of the 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 standard domain ending in “.ar” requires an annual fee between 855 and 1710 pesos ($4.97 and $9.95).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 February 26, 2023, 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
In late February 2023, a federal judge ordered ISPs to block access to 30 websites that had provided free livestreams of popular sports and TV shows. The injunction was issued at the request of a group of content providers and telecommunications companies that claimed these platforms were violating copyright law. One of the now blocked sports websites received 3.1 million visits in January 2023. While the blocked websites currently cannot be accessed, other websites have been created that have the same content but different URLs.3
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.4 After a provisional order to suspend Uber was issued in Córdoba in 2019,5 Uber stopped operating in the city.6 The company resumed operations there in December 2020,7 after the city failed to comply with an October 2020 court order that required them to enact ridesharing regulations within 30 business days.8 In May 2023, the General Union of the Association of Transport Workers (UGATT) issued a demand for ENACOM to block Uber in Argentina, citing allegations of labor law violations by the company.9 However, ENACOM gave no indication that it intended to block Uber by the end of the coverage period.
- 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“Chau fútbol libre: bloquean todas las plataformas gratuitas en un golpe antipiratería [Goodbye fútbol libre: free platforms are blocked in an anti piracy coup],” Clarín, March 3, 2023, https://www.clarin.com/tecnologia/chau-futbol-libre-bloquean-todas-plat….
- 4“Uber apeló el bloqueo de la Justicia porteña, pero la aplicación sigue funcionando [Uber appealed the blocking in Buenos Aires tribunals, but the app is still working],” Clarin, February 13, 2018, http://clar.in/2stWBRB.
- 5“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….
- 6“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….
- 7“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-….
- 8“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….
- 9“Sindicatos del transporte le declaran la guerra a Uber [Transportation unions declare war on Uber],” Diario Popular, May 9, 2023, https://www.diariopopular.com.ar/general/sindicatos-del-transporte-le-d….
|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?||3.003 4.004|
Score Change: The score improved from 2 to 3 due to the June 2022 Supreme Court decision that ruled against the “right to be forgotten” when content falls within the public interest, establishing a strong legal precedent against the removal of certain online content.
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. In September 2022, a judge in Formosa Province ordered a digital media outlet to remove content about local public official Paula Cattaneo and prevented it from making any reference to her in the future. The judge ruled that the outlet had made misogynistic comments that constituted psychological, gender-based violence and affected Cattaneo’s moral integrity.1 However, the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA) criticized the ruling for negatively affecting freedom of expression, arguing that public officials have a responsibility to tolerate harsh criticism.2
The “right to be forgotten” remains a subject of debate in Argentina, though several recent court decisions have established a precedent favoring free expression. In June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled against the right to be forgotten when content falls within the public interest in Natalia Denegri v. Google.3 The Supreme Court held a public hearing on the case in March 2022;4 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 2020.5 During the March 2022 hearing, various civil society organizations recommended that the Supreme Court not enshrine the right to be forgotten.6 The final ruling was well-received by digital rights organizations for setting a strong precedent favoring the public interest over the right to be forgotten.7
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.8 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.9
During previous coverage periods, 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 2020.10 Courts accepted Fernández de Kirchner’s request;11 Google appealed to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal in March 2021 due to legal technicalities.12 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 misogynistic remarks about her instead of her official title.13
- 1La justicia provincial ordenó a Evelio Ríos retirar todas las publicaciones sobre la Sra. Paula Cattaneo [Provincial judge ordered Evelio Rios to take down all the publications on Ms. Paula Cattaneo],” Diario El Comercial, October 5, 2022, https://www.elcomercial.com.ar/20138-la-justicia-provincial-ordeno-a-ev….
- 2“FOPEA manifiesta su preocupación por la decisión de la Justicia de la provincia de Formosa que obliga al medio digital Sala de Prensa Formosa a quitar toda información referida a una funcionaria pública de la Municipalidad de Formosa [FOPEA is concerned with judge of the province of Formosa’s decision to order Sala de Prensa Formosa to take down all information related to Municipality of Formosa’s public official ],” FOPEA, November 28, 2022, https://www.fopea.org/fopea-manifiesta-su-preocupacion-por-la-decision-….
- 3Leo 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….
- 4Patricia 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-….
- 5Matías 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….
- 6“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….
- 7Leo 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….
- 8“La denuncia política no se censura [Political denunciation cannot be censored]," Diario Judicial, June 22, 2020, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/86706.
- 9“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….
- 10“Cristina Kirchner inicia una demanda contra Google por haberla difamado [Cristina Kirchner sue Google for defamation],” Página 12, August 7, 2021, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/283365-cristina-kirchner-inicia-una-demanda….
- 11“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-….
- 12“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….
- 13“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 consistently 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 2023), which is regulated differently in each province. In February 2023, service providers were ordered to block a list of 30 websites providing free access to sports events and TV shows. The block was ordered by a judge who based his decision on the sites’ alleged violation of copyright and intellectual property rights (see B1).
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 In June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the “right to be forgotten” cannot be applied when the content in question is newsworthy or of public interest (see B2).
- 1“Bloqueos de sitios web [Website blocking],” ENACOM, accessed August 2023, 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 events have elicited self-censorship in particular cases.
Following the attempted assassination of Vice President Fernández de Kirchner in September 2022,1 the anonymous Argentine online forum Rouzed, which was known to host right-wing extremist content, was voluntarily shut down by its administrators. The decision was taken after several anonymous users alleged that the attacker was an active member of the forum and accused other members of participating in the planning of the attack. However, just days after Rouzed was closed down, administrators created a new anonymous forum called Boxed.2
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.3 Similar concerns arose during the previous coverage period, 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,4 which they said would encourage self-censorship.5 In response, the government stressed that it had no intention of proposing regulation on the matter.6
Soon after the attempted assassination of Fernández de Kirchner, President Alberto Fernández (no relation) again raised the possibility of regulating social networks to prevent the spread of violence and hate speech online. Members of the opposition again criticized the government for allegedly promoting censorship. Despite the president’s statements, no regulation proposal has been launched as of the end of the coverage period.7
- 1Mar Centenera “Gunman held after trying to kill Argentina’s vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,” El País, September 2, 2022, https://english.elpais.com/international/2022-09-02/gunman-held-after-t….
- 2Juan José Relmucao and Juan Ruocco, “Argentina’s 4chan taken down by admins after would-be assassin suspected as frequent user,” Rest of World, September 5, 2022, https://restofworld.org/2022/argentina-rouzed-4chan-taken-down-after-as….
- 3“"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 Nación, October 12, 2020, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/duro-comunicado-adepa-creacion-nod….
- 4“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….
- 5“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….
- 6“El 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….
- 7“Por el ataque a Cristina Kirchner, Alberto Fernández reflota una vieja idea del Gobierno: ‘Hay que regular el uso de las redes sociales’ [Due to attack on Cristina Kirchner, Alberto Fernández reiterates and old idea: ‘We have to regulate social media’],” Clarín, September 22, 2022, https://www.clarin.com/politica/ataque-cristina-kirchner-alberto-fernan….
|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
Seemingly coordinated online trolls have reportedly been deployed ahead of the October 2023 presidential election. According to media reports, a network of troll accounts has been used to influence online conversation about the election2 and inauthentically boost the social media posts of presidential candidate Javier Milei, who has campaigned on a right-wing platform outside the political mainstream.3 The network reportedly working on behalf of Milei, controlled by the political marketing firm Numen Group, allegedly includes up to 50,000 inauthentic accounts and has reportedly been hired by other Argentine candidates in the past.4
Though some disinformation regarding politicians also appeared 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 Mauricio Macri misspelled “November” in his personal notes.5 Other 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.6
In September 2022, following the attempted assassination of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, misinformation about the attack proliferated online (see B7). Several of these false claims were intentionally manipulated. For example, photoshopped images circulated on social media showing the alleged attacker standing next to former president Macri and former Buenos Aires province governor María Eugenia Vidal, both from the center-right opposition.7 These efforts are part of broader attempts across the political spectrum in Argentina to discredit political opponents through manipulated online content.
In December 2022, a false criminal record purporting to belong to Fernández de Kirchner began circulating on social media. The manipulated document appears to depict the vice president’s conviction for “fraudulent administration”; although Fernández de Kirchner was found guilty of the charge that month, the document circulating on social media was falsified.8 Manipulated content has also targeted political opponents of Fernández de Kirchner and the current government. In May 2023, social media accounts on both Facebook and Twitter disseminated a picture that appeared to show former president Macri attending a soccer game with prosecutor Diego Luciani, who participated in the corruption case against Fernández de Kirchner. The information, which suggested that the charges against the vice president were politically motivated, was proven to be false.9
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.10
- 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/.
- 2Hugo Alconada Mon, “Elecciones 2023: así funcionan las granjas de trolls que promueven a Javier Milei y atacan a sus críticos [Elections 2023: This is how the troll farms that promote Javier Milei and attack his critics work],” La Nacion, May 6, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/elecciones-2023-asi-funcionan-las-….
- 3Juan José Domínguez, “¿Quién es Javier Milei? [Who is Javier Milei?],” Chequeado, accessed August 2023, https://chequeado.com/personajes/quien-es-javier-milei/.
- 4Mariel Fitz Patrick, “Un estratega digital contó cómo organizó las primeras marchas opositoras desde las redes y reveló que crean ‘trolls’ con inteligencia artificial [A digital strategist told how he organized the first opposition marches from the networks and revealed that they create ‘trolls’ with artificial intelligence],” Infobae, May 10, 2023, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2023/05/10/el-estratega-digital-de-mil….
- 5“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….
- 6Lucas 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….
- 7“Attack on Cristina Fernández de Kirchner triggers misinformation and mistrust in Argentina,” Buenos Aires Times, September 8, 2022, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/attack-on-cristina-fernandez-….
- 8“Es falso el “certificado de antecedentes penales” de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner que circula en redes sociales [Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s criminal record certificate circulating in social media is fake],” Chequeado, December 16, 2022, https://chequeado.com/ultimas-noticias/es-falso-el-certificado-de-antec….
- 9“No, Mauricio Macri no se fotografió con el fiscal Diego Luciani en un estadio de fútbol [No, Mauricio Macri wasn´t photographed with prosecutor Diego Luciani in a soccer stadium],” Chequeado, May 20, 2023, https://chequeado.com/ultimas-noticias/no-mauricio-macri-no-se-fotograf….
- 10“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, though the share of funds allocated to digital outlets has increased in recent years. Political allocation of official advertising plays a major role in shaping media content at both the federal and local levels.1 In March 2023, the national government issued updated regulations for allocating state advertising funds.2 The new rules, which remove some conditions to receive official advertising and eliminate the government’s obligation to produce an annual plan for advertising, have been criticized for granting more discretionary power to the government to allocate funding.3
The Fernández administration has continued a longstanding trend of allocating funds based on positive news coverage,4 though outlets editorially critical of the Fernández government can and do receive significant shares of funding.5 Of the 8.7 billion pesos ($84.7 million) allocated to 2,842 media outlets by the national government for official advertising between September 2021 and April 2022,6 53 percent was allocated to just 12 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 (more than 1 billion pesos, or $9.7 million). Other top recipients included Fernández-friendly media conglomerates Indalo and Octubre.7
During that time, 28.7 percent of state funding was allocated to websites and social networks, up from 17.7 percent during the prior reporting period. Funding for Google and Meta increased by 79 and 61 percent, respectively, since the government’s previous reporting period.8
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 a 111 percent increase in funding since the government’s previous reporting period, more than any other media group, including those with notably larger audiences. Furthermore, the list of national-advertising beneficiaries included digital outlets owned by journalists, including some that ardently support the current administration. This appears to contradict President Fernández’s inaugural promise to foster transparency by not funding individual journalists.9
In March 2023, the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) issued Resolution 361/2023, which mandates the ex officio registration of foreign streaming platforms, including Apple TV+, Netflix, and Disney+, in the Public Registry of Film and Audiovisual Activity (RPACA).10 This represents an expansion of INCAA’s regulatory scope, which has previously extended only to traditional film and television providers, opening the possibility of additional tax requirements and regulations for these platforms. Among these is a proposed 10 percent value-added tax (VAT) to benefit INCAA’s Development Fund, though this had not been implemented by the end of the coverage period.11
In April 2019, the Senate approved a new law regulating the financing of political campaigns.12 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.13
- 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….
- 2Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina, Resolución 9090/2023 [Resolution 9090/2023], Head of the Cabinet of Ministers Secretariat of Media and Public Communication, March 10, 2023, https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/282508/20230313.
- 3“Publicidad oficial: una nueva resolución consolida menos controles y más discrecionalidad [Official advertising: a new resolution set less controls and more discretionality ],” La Nación, March 28, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/publicidad-oficial-una-nueva-resol….
- 4Santiago 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….
- 5Agustín Espada and Santiago Marino, “¿Qué pasa con la publicidad oficial en el gobierno de Alberto Fernández? [What about official advertising in the government of Alberto Fernández?],” Chequeado, June 30, 2022, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/que-pasa-con-la-publicidad-oficial-….
- 6“Publicidad Oficial 2021 [Official Advertising 2021],” Gobierno de Argentina, accessed August 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/informe_inversion_al_3….
- 7Agustín Espada y Santiago Marino “Cayó el gasto en publicidad oficial pero aumentó la concentración en los principales grupos [Spending on advertising dropped but allocation in main media groups increased ],” Chequeado, August 27, 2022, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/cayo-el-gasto-en-publicidad-oficial….
- 8Agustín Espada y Santiago Marino “Cayó el gasto en publicidad oficial pero aumentó la concentración en los principales grupos [Spending on advertising dropped but allocation in main media groups increased ],” Chequeado, August 27, 2022, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/cayo-el-gasto-en-publicidad-oficial….
- 9Agustín Espada y Santiago Marino “Cayó el gasto en publicidad oficial pero aumentó la concentración en los principales grupos [Spending on advertising dropped but allocation in main media groups increased ],” Chequeado, August 27, 2022, https://chequeado.com/el-explicador/cayo-el-gasto-en-publicidad-oficial….
- 10Instituto Nacionl de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, Resolución 361/2023 [Resolution 361/2023], March 29, 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/resoluci%C3%B3n-361-202….
- 11Agustina Aurignac, “Chau Netflix: suman un impuesto del 10% a las plataformas de streaming [Goodbye Netflix: Add a 10% tax to streaming platforms],” Cronista, June 9, 2023, https://www.cronista.com/infotechnology/actualidad/chau-netflix-suman-u….
- 12“Law 26.215” La Politica Online, April 16, 2019: https://es.scribd.com/document/407510856/S3698-18PL-2#download&from_emb…
- 13“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 migrants,4 and various religious congregations.5 However, media ownership is highly concentrated, which may in turn affect the diversity of news in the market (see B6).6
In the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in September 2022, misinformation about the attack spread widely on social media. For instance, some social media users falsely claimed that the Canal 5 Noticias television channel had reported the attack several hours before it occurred, implying that it had been staged. Others falsely claimed that the attacker was an employee of Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, an opposition leader. Many of the false claims that circulated online about the attack were intentionally manipulated, by both supporters of the government and the opposition, to target or discredit political opponents (see B5). The presence of misinformation significantly undermined the reliability of the online information landscape. According to one analysis, immediately after the attempted assassination, almost a third of all social media posts mentioning the attack “concentrated on disbelief” that it had even occurred.7
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 AFP Factual, and consisting of more than 100 media organizations, returned in June 2023, after the coverage period, in the run-up to the October general election.8 The project, which aims to combat misleading or false electoral information, was previously active in both 2019 and 2021, ahead of national elections during those years.9
In May 2023, the national government launched an online course on disinformation and false news. The course addresses the history of disinformation and its main features, and includes tools and tips to detect false news. The training is free and available to all citizens.10
- 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“Manifiesto ¿Por qué Periódicas?” [Manifesto, Why Periodicas?], Periodicas, March 6, 2019, https://periodicas.com.ar/2019/03/06/manifiesto-por-que-periodicas/.
- 4Mariano Beldik, “No estamos solos: las redes de la comunidad venezolana en Argentina [We are not alone: the networks of venezuelan community in Argentina],” Perfil, December 19, 2020, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/opinion/no-estamos-solos-las-redes-de-l….
- 5“Home,” Gaceta Cristiana [Christian Gazette], accessed August 18, 2020, https://www.gacetacristiana.com.ar/.
- 6“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/.
- 7“Attack on Cristina Fernández de Kirchner triggers misinformation and mistrust in Argentina,” Buenos Aires Times, September 8, 2022, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/attack-on-cristina-fernandez-….
- 8“Más de 100 medios de todo el país se unen en REVERSO contra la desinformación en las elecciones 2023 [More than 100 media from all over the country unite in REVERSO against misinformation in the 2023 elections],” ámbito, June 12, 2023, https://www.ambito.com/politica/mas-100-medios-todo-el-pais-se-unen-rev….
- 9Harrison 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-…
- 10“Nuevo curso de Desinformación y Fake News [New course on disinformation and fake news],” Secretaría de Innovación Pública, May 11, 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/nuevo-curso-de-desinformacion-y-f….
|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 took place in June 2022, as part of a movement that began seven years prior following protests that began with the Twitter hashtag campaign #NiUnaMenos (#NotOneLess).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 (#JournalismWithDiversity), was launched in April 2022, during the previous coverage period. 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 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
In July 2022, thousands of people gathered in Buenos Aires and other cities across the country to protest the Fernández government’s handling of the country’s serious economic crisis, driven by high inflation and debt obligations. Social media played an important role in calls to protest, through hashtags such as #DefendamosLaRepública (#LetsDefendTheRepublic) and #Argentinazo.8
As in previous national elections, Argentine political candidates have used online platforms to campaign ahead of the country’s October 2023 general election. Social media has continued to become an important part of political campaigning in Argentina, with several candidates using TikTok9 and other platforms to communicate with voters during the coverage period.
- 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 News, 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….
- 6“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 News, 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“Miles se manifiestan en calles contra gobierno en Argentina [Thousands of people protesting in the streets against government of Argentina ],” Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/espanol/internacional/articulo/2022-07-10/miles….
- 9“La campaña 2023 ya se anuncia en TikTok [2023 campaign is anticipated in Tik Tok],” Página 12, February 2023, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/525685-la-campana-2023-ya-se-anuncia-en-tik….
|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
This legal framework has been supported by various national Supreme Court judicial decisions that have favored freedom of expression in cases related to intermediary liability and the right to be forgotten (see B2 and B3).
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 October 2022, the media reported on an apparent secret meeting—among judges, prosecutors, media businesspeople, and at least one member of the Buenos Aires city government from the opposition Republican Proposal (PRO)—that occurred that month at a private estate in Lago Escondido.6 Following the meeting, Telegram chats that appeared to show attempts by the participants to cover up details of the meeting were allegedly leaked from the mobile phone of Marcelo D'Alessandro, the justice minister of the city of Buenos Aires, igniting accusations of judicial collusion from President Fernández and other members of the governing party.7 After additional messages were leaked in December, with some appearing to show private messages between D'Alessandro and a spokesman for the Supreme Court, D'Alessandro accused individuals linked with the national government of illegally hacking his cell phone in order to obtain the messages (see C5).8 Following the controversy, D’Alessandro resigned as the Buenos Aires security and justice minister in March 2023.9
- 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….
- 6Raúl Kollmann and Irina Hauser, “Cónclave político judicial secreto en Lago Escondido para garantizar la impunidad de Mauricio Macri [Secret judicial political conclave in Lago Escondido to guarantee the impunity of Mauricio Macri],” Página12, October 17, 2022, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/490241-retiro-espiritual-en-la-motana.
- 7“President Fernández calls for investigation into alleged political-judicial collusion,” Buenos Aires Times, December 5, 2022, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/president-fernandez-calls-for….
- 8“Un peritaje determinó que los chats de Marcelo D'Alessandro pudieron ser editados [Expert’s report states that Marcelo D’Alessandro’s chat could be doctored],” Clarín, January 20, 2023, https://www.clarin.com/politica/peritaje-determino-chats-marcelo-d-ales…; “Se filtraron más chats del celular de Marcelo D’Alessandro, ministro de Seguridad porteño [More chats were leaked from the cell phone of Marcelo D'Alessandro, Minister of Security of Buenos Aires],” Infobae, December 29, 2022, https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/12/30/se-filtraron-mas-chats-del-….
- 9“Buenos Aires City security minister Marcelo D’Alessandro resigns post amid scandal,” Buenos Aires Times, March 23, 2023, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/buenos-aires-city-security-mi….
|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 have been proposed in recent years, though had not been passed by 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|
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 the 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
Santoro, along with journalist Joaquín Morales Solá from La Nación, faced an additional criminal lawsuit during the coverage period. In January 2023, Argentina’s Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) filed criminal charges against the two journalists and their newspapers, claiming they had revealed political and military secrets by publishing the names of supposed military personnel who were alleged to have illegally worked as intelligence agents for the AFI.4 The articles in question, published between December 31, 2022 and January 3, 2023, were simultaneously published online.5 Ultimately, in April 2023, the charges were dropped by a federal judge since the disclosures by Morales Solá and Santoro were part of their journalistic work and therefore protected by freedom of expression.6
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 ($539) 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.7 In August 2022, during the coverage period, the Supreme Court overturned the San Luis court ruling, finding that it lacked appropriate consideration of Spinuzza’s status as a public figure and, consequently, of the right to freedom of expression more broadly.8
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.9 This sentence was upheld by a Buenos Aires city court in September 2022.10
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 that the tweet was protected under freedom of expression standards.11 However, the dismissal was revoked by the Federal Chamber of Córdoba in October 2021 following a successful appeal by prosecutors. The Federal Chamber of Cassation upheld the 2021 ruling, which ordered the prosecution of Prestofelippo for “threats,” in October 2022.12 The case remained ongoing at the end of the coverage period.
In October 2022, the Airport Security Police (PSA) filed a criminal complaint against stand-up comedian Martín Ezequiel Grosso Almeida for using his Instagram account to allegedly voice violent expressions against President Fernández. Police learned about the comments via “cyberpatrolling” activities (see C5) conducted in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Vice President Kirchner that September; Kirchner’s assailant had reportedly attended a birthday party for Almeida earlier in the year. The case was ultimately closed by January 2023, after a public prosecutor requested that the charges be dismissed due to the “nonexistence of a crime” and the right to freedom of expression.13
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.14
- 1“Argentine court charges journalist Daniel Santoro with attempted extortion,” 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“Agustín Rossi denunciará a dos periodistas y dos medios por violar la Ley de Inteligencia [Agustín Rossi will denounce two journalists and two media outlets for violating the Intelligence Law],” Perfil, January 4, 2023, https://www.perfil.com/noticias/politica/agustin-rossi-dijo-que-denunci….
- 5Joaquín Morales Solá, “El president que no fue y el regreso de la inteligencia illegal [The President Who Wasn't and the Return of Illegal Intelligence],” La Nación, December 31, 2022, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/opinion/el-presidente-que-no-fue-y-el-regre…; Daniel Santoro, “Denuncian operaciones de inteligencia ilegal sobre opositores y militares y apuntan a la AFI [They denounce illegal intelligence operations on opponents and the military and point to the AFI],” Clarín, January 1, 2023, https://www.clarin.com/politica/denuncian-operaciones-inteligencia-ileg…; Daniel Santoro, “Apuntan a la mano derecha de Milani que pasó por La Tablada, Inteligencia del Ejército y la compra de equipos [They point to the right hand of Milani who went through La Tablada, Army Intelligence and the purchase of equipment],” Clarín, January 3, 2023, https://www.clarin.com/politica/apuntan-mano-derecha-milani-paso-tablad…; Joaquín Morales Solá, “Agentes militares trabajan en el servicio de inteligencia [Military agents work in the intelligence service],” La Nación, January 3, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/agentes-militares-trabajan-en-el-s….
- 6“Archivan una denuncia del Gobierno contra los periodistas Morales Solá y Santoro [Government accusation against journalists Morales Solá and Santoro were archived],” La Nación, April 20, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/archivan-la-denuncia-del-gobierno-….
- 7“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….
- 8Patricia 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….
- 9“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….
- 10“Confirmaron los 30 días de prisión para ‘El Presto’ por hostigar a Fabiola Yáñez [They confirmed the 30 days in prison for ‘El Presto’ for harassing Fabiola Yáñez],” Página12, September 13, 2023, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/481611-confirmaron-los-30-dias-de-prision-p….
- 11“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….
- 12“El Presto: confirman su procesamiento por amenazar de muerte a Cristina Kirchner [El Presto: criminal charges are confirmed for death threats against Cristina Kirchner ],” El Cronista, October 11, 2022, https://www.cronista.com/economia-politica/el-presto-confirman-su-proce….
- 13“Denunciaron a un comediante por agraviar a Alberto Fernández: el caso fue archivado [Comedian was accused of insulting Alberto Fernández: the case was closed],” Infobae, January 1, 2023, https://www.infobae.com/judiciales/2023/01/01/denunciaron-a-un-comedian….
- 14“Twittear en broma no es delito [Tweeting jokingly is not a crime],” Diario Judicial, July 22, 2022, https://www.diariojudicial.com/nota/89769.
|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 Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP), Argentina’s data protection authority, 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, during the previous coverage period, the Federal Chamber excluded from evidence 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
In late 2022, an apparent leak of private messages revealed the details of a secret meeting between judges, businesspeople, and then city of Buenos Aires minister of justice and security Marcelo D’Alessandro. The leaked messages appeared to show an attempt to cover up the meeting, sparking allegations of collusion between the judiciary and members of the opposition (see C1). The messages, which allegedly originated from D’Alessandro’s mobile device, were reportedly obtained by a hacker at the request of an anonymous Telegram user.9 The case remained unresolved by the end of the coverage period. An investigation into the identity of the person who supposedly requested and paid for the hacking operation, and the alleged links between the acts of “illegal espionage” and individuals associated with the current government, remained ongoing at the end of the coverage period.10
The AFI 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.11 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.12 A federal court dismissed the charges in July 2022, during the coverage period, labeling the operation justified based on its “sole objective” of preserving “presidential and/or internal security.”13
In June 2020, prosecutor Cristina Caamaño presented findings of an audit of the AFI 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.”14
Cellebrite, an Israel-based digital intelligence company, has supplied federal security forces with tools for hacking into locked mobile devices since the early 2010s.15
Citizens’ personal information contained in the databases of the National Administration of Social Security (ANSES) can be transferred to the Public Communication Secretariat (SCP).16 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.17 The national government appealed the ruling before the Supreme Court, and the resolution of the case was still pending by the end of the current coverage period.18
During the Macri administration, the Supreme Court established an Office of Capturing of Communications to intercept communications.19 Digital rights groups raised concerns about the office’s lack of autonomy, especially as it is housed within a criminal-investigation directorate.20
- 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/.
- 7“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],” Access to Public Information Agency, 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….
- 9“El hacker que espió a Marcelo D’Alessandro pidió convertirse en arrepentido y demandó protección [Hacker who spied Marcelo D’Alessandro requested to be a justice collaborator and demanded protection ],” La Nación, April 26, 2023, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/el-hacker-que-espio-a-marcelo-dale….
- 10Daniel Santoro, “Espionaje ilegal a D'Alessandro: cayó un intermediario que contrató al hacker misionero [Illegal espionage on D'Alessandro: an intermediary who hired the missionary hacker fell],” Clarín, June 3, 2023, https://qpaso.ar/noticias/clarin/politica/espionaje-ilegal-d-alessandro….
- 11Amy 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…
- 12Amy 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…
- 13Patricia 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….
- 14“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….
- 15Surveillance Tech In Latin America: Made Abroad, Deployed at Home, Access Now, August 2021, https://www.accessnow.org/cms/assets/uploads/2021/08/Surveillance-Tech-….
- 16“Resolución 166- E/2016” [Resolution 166- E/2016], InfoLEG, July 21, 2016, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/260000-264999/26….
- 17“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….
- 18“Tu email y celular, ¿son datos públicos o privados?: la Corte Suprema definirá cómo puede usarlos el Estado [Your email and mobile phone, are public or private data?: Supreme Court will decide how the state may use them ],” iProfesional, February 1, 2023, https://www.iproup.com/innovacion/37771-habeas-data-la-corte-define-com….
- 19“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.
- 20Eduardo 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 that ICT providers share information with competent authorities when requested.5
In March 2022, during the previous coverage period, and 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
However, the AAIP made progress on improving Argentina’s data protection framework during the coverage period. In mid-2022, the AAIP kicked off a process to update existing legislation through a new data protection law. The initiative started with a series of meetings between the data protection authority and various stakeholders, including civil society organizations and private sector representatives, that led to the publication of a first version of the new draft law on August 30. Members of the public were able to submit comments and opinions on the preliminary version of the draft law during a public consultation period that was launched in September. The final draft version of the data protection bill was ultimately unveiled in November 2022.8 In June 2023, after the coverage period, the Data Protection Bill was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for consideration.9 The bill contains several provisions influenced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and civil society organizations have praised the inclusion of due diligence requirements to mitigate potential harms and the preeminence principle of favoring the data subject when uncertainties arise about how to interpret the law.10
Additionally, in April 2023, Argentina completed its ratification of Convention 108+, a binding multilateral instrument on data protection issued by the CoE. Argentina is the second Latin American country to ratify the convention.11
- 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 gestion [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“Nuevo Proyecto de Ley de Protección de Datos Personales [New data protection bill ],” Agencia de Acceso a la Información Pública (AAIP), November 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/aaip/datospersonales/proyecto-ley-datos-pe…; “Presentación del Proyecto de Ley de Protección de Datos Personales [Presentation of the Draft Law on Protection of Personal Data],” November 10, 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/presentacion-del-proyecto-de-ley-….
- 9“El Poder Ejecutivo Nacional envió al Congreso el Proyecto de Ley de Protección de Datos Personales [The National Executive Branch sent to Congress the Personal Data Protection Bill],” Gobierno de Argentina, June 30, 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/el-poder-ejecutivo-nacional-envio….
- 10“AAIP Draft Data Protection Bill includes contributions from ADC” Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), November 28, 2022, https://adc.org.ar/en/2022/11/28/aaip-draft-data-protection-bill-includ….
- 11“Chart of signatures and ratifications of Treaty 223,” Council of Europe, accessed August 2023, https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list?module=signatures-by-t….
- 12“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….
- 13“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 88 cases of harassment against journalists in 2022, compared to 108 in 2021; journalists for digital outlets were targeted in 17 cases. Nearly 45 percent of the total cases reported involved physical, psychological, or material harassment, and three cases of cyber harassment were reported. In the report, FOPEA noted the increasing threat to journalists from drug cartels.1
In May 2023, digital and radio journalist Griselda Blanco, who regularly reported local news through Facebook Live broadcasts, was found murdered at her home in Corrientes Province. According to prosecutors, no evidence has been found that Blanco was killed because of her work as a journalist.2 The Argentine Federation of Press Workers (FATPREN) called for a full and transparent investigation into the case, noting that Blanco had received threats for her reporting in the past.3 The investigation into Blanco’s murder remained ongoing at the end of the coverage period.
In October 2021, during the previous coverage period, 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.4
Online gender-based violence poses a prominent threat to female users, especially journalists and public officials. In June 2021, during the previous coverage period, 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).5 A study published in April 2023 indicated that more than 40 percent of all people surveyed had been the victim of hate speech or discrimination online, noting that women in particular were more likely to be targeted by online harassment or violence. Female political candidates are especially targeted, including with online smear campaigns.6
After the attempted assassination of Vice President Fernández de Kirchner in September 2022, a mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) visited Argentina to investigate gender-based political violence in the country. Members of the mission stated that hate speech spread via social media could have created the conditions that led to the attack against Fernández de Kirchner or could worsen the potential for political violence against other women who hold public office. Therefore, they recommended that social media and other media actors create self-regulatory codes of conduct to prevent political violence against women.7
In December 2022, journalist Uki Goñi restricted access to his social media accounts after being subjected to online harassment, including insults and death threats on Twitter and Instagram. Goñi was harassed in response to his article in the British newspaper the Guardian that reported on structural racism facing Argentines of African descent.8
In January 2023, Marina Abiuso, a journalist and gender editor for the TV channel Todo Noticias (TN), closed her Twitter account after being subjected to online harassment, including insults, threats, and the spreading of false information about her. The harassment directed at Abiuso came during a controversy over claims of gender-related bias in TN’s journalistic coverage of the trial of a mother and her partner accused of murdering their son, which critics alleged was low compared to the outlet’s reporting on a trial of male rugby players also accused of murder.9
- 1“El periodismo bajo el acecho del crimen organizado [Journalism under the attack of organized crime,” FOPEA, May 5, 2023, https://monitoreo.fopea.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/monitoreo-libert….
- 2“Griselda Blanco murder: Investigators probe WhatsApp chats and ‘extortion’ claim,” Buenos Aires Times, June 1, 2023, https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/griselda-blanco-murder-invest….
- 3“La Fatpren exigió justicia por la periodista asesinada en Corrientes [La Fatpren demanded justice for the journalist murdered in Corrientes],” Télam, May 24, 2023, https://www.telam.com.ar/notas/202305/629370-fatpren-crimen-periodista-….
- 4“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….
- 5“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.
- 6Lucía 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….
- 7“La misión de la OEA sobre la violencia política contra las mujeres en Argentina: "Hostigamiento, ataques e impunidad" [OAS mission on political violence against women in Argentina: “Harassment, attacks and impunity”], Página 12, March 4, 2023, https://www.pagina12.com.ar/528673-la-violencia-politica-contra-mujeres….
- 8“FOPEA repudia enérgicamente las amenazas de muerte que se registraron en los últimos días en las redes sociales contra el periodista Uki Goñi [FOPEA strongly condemns recent death threats against journalist Uki Goñi in social media], FOPEA, December 8, 2022, https://www.fopea.org/fopea-repudia-energicamente-las-amenazas-de-muert…; Uki Goñi, “Time to challenge Argentina’s white European self-image, black history experts say,” The Guardian, May 31, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/31/argentina-white-european-….
- 9“National Academy of Journalism of Argentina expressed its ‘absolute rejection’ of the ‘siege’ against Marina Abiuso,” Latam Journalism Review, February 7, 2023, https://latamjournalismreview.org/news/national-academy-of-journalism-o….
|Are websites, governmental and private entities, service providers, or individual users subject to widespread hacking and other forms of cyberattack?||2.002 3.003|
Score Change: The score improved from 1 to 2 because while cyberattacks remain a serious concern in Argentina, the effects and scope of such attacks were less severe than during the previous coverage period.
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, during the previous coverage period, a website hosting the results of journalistic investigation La Reacción Conservadora 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
Government entities are also sometimes targeted with cyberattacks. In August 2022, the province of Córdoba’s judiciary was the victim of a ransomware attack, forcing an outage of its IT systems and website. According to reports, the attack, reportedly by an operation called “PLAY,” attempted to erase all the information contained in the judiciary’s IT system instead of demanding money.4 The attack caused the judiciary to temporarily cease all electronic processing of court documents.5 A few months later, in October 2022, the Ministry of Health’s IT systems were hacked by attackers who reportedly leaked individuals’ sensitive health information and caused official email accounts to send malicious emails. Despite launching an internal investigation, as of May 2023, the government has not provided updates on the people behind these attacks.6
In October 2021, during the previous coverage period, 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.7 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.8 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.9
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 National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) launched an investigation to confirm the veracity of the incident,10 though no further updates have been provided.
Individuals have also been targets of cyberattacks in recent years. 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.11 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.12
Commercial entities and service providers have also faced ransomware attacks. In February 2023, ransomware group LockBit demanded payment—reportedly $5 million—from insurance company La Segunda in exchange for not publishing sensitive information held by the company, including legal documents, personal medical records, and expert reports. La Segunda refused to pay the attackers and the information was ultimately leaked online.13
Government agencies have sought to strengthen their cybersecurity capacity. The country’s first National Cybersecurity Strategy was launched in May 2019.14 In January 2023, the national government opened a public consultation period to receive input on the draft of the second National Cybersecurity Strategy.15 An updated document, incorporating suggestions received during the public consultation period, was released in June 2023, after the coverage period.16 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.17 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.18 During the coverage period, several public institutions and universities adhered to the requirements.19
- 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….
- 4“Denuncian que hackearon el Poder Judicial de Córdoba: afecta la página web, los sistemas y la base de datos [They denounce that they hacked the Judiciary of Córdoba: it affects the website, the systems and the database],” Clarín, August 14, 2022, https://www.clarin.com/sociedad/denuncian-hackearon-poder-judicial-cord….
- 5Lawrence Abrams, “Argentina's Judiciary of Córdoba hit by PLAY ransomware attack,” Bleeping Computer, August 15, 2022, https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/argentinas-judiciary-of-….
- 6“Argentine Health Ministry's computers hacked,” Mercopress, October 24, 2022, https://en.mercopress.com/2022/10/24/argentine-health-ministry-s-comput…; “La historia detrás del mayor hackeo a la ministra Vizzotti y las 7.000 reuniones insólitas [The history behind the biggest hacking to minister Vizzoti and the unusual 7000 meetings ],” Clarín, May 15, 2023, https://www.clarin.com/sociedad/historia-detras-mayor-hackeo-ministra-v….
- 7Catalin 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….
- 8“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….
- 9“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….
- 10“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….
- 11“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….
- 12“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….
- 13“LockBit has published the data stolen in La Segunda: there are judicial files, expert reports and medical data,” News Rebeat, March 3, 2023, https://newsrebeat.com/technology/148648.html.
- 14“Resolución 829/2019 [Resolution 829/2019],” InfoLEG, May 24, 2019, http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/320000-324999/32….
- 15Gustavo P. Giay, Diego Fernández, Manuela Adrogue, and Josefina Barbero, “Second Argentine Cybersecurity Strategy” Marval, February 23, 2023, https://www.marval.com/publicacion/segunda-estrategia-nacional-de-ciber….
- 16“Finalizó la consulta pública sobre la ‘Segunda Estrategia Nacional de Ciberseguridad’ [The public consultation on the ‘Second National Cybersecurity Strategy’ has ended],” Gobierno de Argentina, June 15, 2023, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/finalizo-la-consulta-publica-sobr….
- 17"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-….
- 18“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….
- 19“El poder legislativo y el poder ejecutivo de Santa Cruz adhirieron a la norma de los Requisitos Mínimos de Seguridad de la Información [Legislative and Executive Power from Santa Cruz adhered to the minimum information security standards ],” Dirección Nacional de Ciberseguridad, June 1, 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/el-poder-legislativo-y-el-poder-e…; “La Corte de Justicia y el Ministerio Público del Poder Judicial de Catamarca adhirieron a los Requisitos Mínimos de Seguridad de la Información [Catamarca’s Supreme Court and the Office of the Prosecution adhered to the minimum information security standard ],” Dirección Nacional de Ciberseguridad, June 13, 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/la-corte-de-justicia-y-el-ministe…; “La UNCA es la primera universidad del país en adherir a los Requisitos Mínimos de Seguridad de la Información [UNCA is the first university in the country to adhere to the minimum information security standard],” Dirección Nacional de Ciberseguridad, July 11, 2022, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/noticias/la-unca-es-la-primera-universidad….
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Global Freedom Score85 100 free
Internet Freedom Score73 100 free
Freedom in the World StatusFree