Nicaragua expands regulator’s remit amid surveillance concerns

Nicaraguan government expands regulator’s remit amid surveillance concerns

Nicaragua’s telecoms regulator Telcor (Instituto Nicaraguense de Telecomunicaciones y Correos / Nicaraguan Institute for Telecommunications and Posts) is set to have its powers expanded by the country’s National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional).

Local media reported that the proposed reform was presented to the National Assembly on 2nd June and ratified on 13th June. The assembly is controlled by President Daniel Ortega’s ruling FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional / Sandinista National Liberation Front) party.

The ruling party claims that the regulatory overhaul enshrined in Organic Law No. 1053 “is intended to provide clarity and explicitness in relation to Telcor’s powers and attributions in terms of regulation, control of the sector, as well as the promotion of innovation and investments.”

However, opponents of the regime argue that expanding the regulator’s powers will increase the state’s capacity for “espionage and repression”, highlighting the connections between Telcor chief Nahima Diaz Flores and Ortega’s government.

Diaz was granted the top role at Telcor after its previous chief Orlando Castillo died in June 2020. Her sister is married to one of Ortega’s sons, while her father Francisco Diaz is the Chief of the National Police. CommsUpdate reports that the senior Diaz is a key supporter of Ortega’s sustained censorship of independent media within Nicaragua.

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