Bolivia is a land where natural beauty and rich culture come together to offer visitors a unique, enigmatic and sometimes, challenging experience. The country has the largest percentage of indigenous people in South America and over 30 different nationalities are recognized by the state. The diversity of indigenous groups, the large number of festivals and parades that are held on a regular basis and the rough and wild, yet beautiful landscapes are some of the reasons why travelers from around the world head to Bolivia. While the country has a lot of fascinating things to discover, the situation for freedom of expression is concerning. Like in other countries in the region, corruption has affected the society and the government has taken steps to control the media.
Although there are many privately owned media outlets that offer a space for the opposition, independent journalists and those who criticize the government face threats and attacks from officials. Under the constitution, freedom of the press is guaranteed, but the government has looked for economical and political ways to limit what is reported in the media. The anti-racism law that aims to protect indigenous groups by preventing racist articles and comments in the media. However, the law is very vague and its detractors state that it gives the government power to down media outlets for publishing content deemed as racist, even when the guidelines to identify such material are not clearly defined.
While it is estimated that just over 41% of the population can access the internet, online news and social media websites enjoy a high level of popularity. The government hasn’t imposed restrictions and there is no reason to believe that it carries intrusive online surveillance programs. However, president Evo Morales has expressed his intent to regulate social networks in Bolivia, arguing that they are used for “defamation and slander” and the vice president Alvaro García Linera has also said that social media networks should be monitored. A bill has been drafted seeking to regulate social media and although the proposal faced backlash from the public and online freedom activists, the government insisted in the importance of ensuring that social media networks are not used for defamation and spreading what it considers as misinformation.
Many people have opted for self-censorship, but those who want to express their opinion without exposing their identity, may consider options that help them to be anonymous online. Tor and VPNs are best technologies for defeating censorship and protecting privacy and anonymity in the internet. VPN services are easy to use and they offer the advantage of being faster and easier to use than Tor. Apart from offering encryption to keep your internet traffic private, ensuring that others can’t see what you do online, VPNs let you overcome geographical restrictions. If you live in Bolivia or travel there for holidays or work, you won’t be able to access certain websites and services that are only available in the US and other countries. In order to enjoy access to a wider selection of content, you can rely on a VPN and the below services are ideal for Bolivia.
NordVPN will protect your privacy with strong encryption and a great set of security focused features. In addition, they have a no logs policy that states that no records are kept of your activities or connection details. Given that NordVPN is based in Panama, it is not subject to mandatory data retention laws that compromise privacy. The provider secures your data with AES 256-bit encryption, with RSA handshakes and SHA-2 authentication. With features like double encryption and Tor over VPN, you will enjoy a high level of protection. NordVPN has servers in over 60 countries.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and it offers a fast service that gives you the possibility of streaming international content effortlessly. At the moment, there are servers available in 94 countries, including United States, and many options near Bolivia such as Colombia and Ecuador. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of your online traffic and it accept Bitcoin payments, which will allow you to keep your anonymity protected. The level of encryption used by ExpressVPN is quite strong and ExpressVPN also delivers great customer support.
Private Internet Access
It is likely that first things about PIA that captures your attention is the affordability that it offers, but there is more to this provider than just low prices. PIA lets you connect up to five devices at the same time and it has over 3200 servers in 25 countries including Brazil, United States and Mexico. Users in Bolivia can enjoy a service that is highly secure and that supports features like DNS leak protection Kill Switch, which ensures that your real IP address remains protected at all times.
PureVPN is a popular VPN provider based in Hong Kong and apart from offering a high level of encryption, it is known for its extensive global coverage. You can connect to servers in over 141 countries, including Bolivia. In this country, PureVPN has a server in Sucre, which is a good option to keep a Bolivian IP but adding a stronger level of security to avoid online threats. PureVPN doesn’t keep logs of your activities and it offers affordable plans.