Information Technology in Peru























Transborder Data Flows

In the late 1990s, Peru began enacting laws to protect data privacy and information security, as well as provisions to ensure the smooth operation of electronic commerce. Censorship was not found to be a serious factor in the Peruvian Internet, due to private operation of ISPs and the Peruvian government's unwillingness to take drastic steps to control content.

Legislative Action

In 1996, Ministerial Resolution Number 622-96-MTC/15.17, the Ministry of Transportation, Communication, Housing and Construction established procedures for inspection and requirements for information with regards to privacy and information security. In addition, there are related laws discussed in electronic commerce, including laws enacted in 2000 to make digital signatures legal, which can be extrapolated to indicate the potential for electronic privacy initiatives. Similarly, 2000 also saw a law passed to make computer crime illegal.

Censorship

The main ISP in Peru, with just over 50 percent of the market, is the Peruvian Scientific Network, which prides itself on allowing unfettered access to the Internet. While the Fujimori government was known for its distaste for independent broadcast and print journalists, it had little luck censoring information provided over the Internet. One Peruvian government official conceded to the Wall Street Journal in 1997 (in reference to limiting Peruvians' access to web sites of rebel groups such as the Tupac Amaru) that "We can't very well cut phone lines and confiscate computers." In fact, the Peruvian government has been known to use the Internet as a tool of statecraft or propaganda, depending on your view. Peru and Ecuador both used the World Wide Web to attempt to inflict rhetorical damage on each other during border skirmishes. In fact, Peru and Ecuador were among the first governments to use the Internet as a tool for their own advancement, rather than just as a repository of information.

Last update: December 19, 2000 by Jeffrey S. Bernstein.