Bolivia: Controversial telecommunications law comes into effect

Bolivian president Evo Morales has announced a new Telecommunications, Information Technology and Communication Law that establishes new rules for the distribution of radio and television frequencies, the broadcasting of presidential messages, and authorises wiretapping in exceptional cases. Some critics say the law, which was approved at the end of July, will give the state de facto control over 67 percent of the radio and television frequencies due to the Morales administration’s close ties to indigenous and community groups.  Meanwhile, journalism organisations have denounced the law, saying it undermines freedom of expression and that wiretapping will affect the public’s right to privacy.