The Catalan government has sent a letter to the European Commission asking them to support an open Internet across the union, after the Spanish government blocked websites related to the October 1 secession referendum.
The blocking of the websites is the latest in a long line of Spanish police efforts to undermine the upcoming vote. On top of taking down the sites, Spanish police also summoned 14 people for “disobedience” for having mirrored the referendum website.
Catalan officials noted the efforts mirror Internet censorship efforts in countries like Turkey North Korea, and China. The Spanish government claims that referendums are inherently undemocratic. Spanish FM Alfonso Dastis claimed separatists were using “Nazi” tactics to intimidate opponents, adding: “Referendums are a weapon of choice of dictators”.
All indications are that the referendum will take place irrespective of Spanish police efforts to prevent them. The Spanish government, however, maintains that they’ve discredited the move enough that the vote won’t count.