Hacker group Anonymous blocked the official website of Argentina’s National Institute of Statistics and Census amid an international stand-off over claims the country has lied about its economy. “They lie to the people, but the people are true to their word,” the hacker collective’s Argentina branch wrote on its Twitter account.
“You think they are going to continue lying to people? Something has to be done to change this.” At 6:30 pm (2130 GMT), INDEC’s website was still out of service. Last year, INDEC reported that Argentina’s inflation reached 10.8 percent — less than half the 25.6 percent estimated by consultants and critics.
Anonymous has attacked INDEC’s site before, amid questions over its data, including during an incident in August. Directors of the International Monetary Fund will meet on February 1 to decide if and how to punish Argentina for not supplying accurate economic data. In September, IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the fund could censure Argentina with a “red card” after nearly two years of pressing Buenos Aires to abide by IMF rules and provide accurate data on economic growth and inflation.
The executive board received a formal report on Argentina’s non-compliance with the Fund’s data rules in December, but the report’s recommendations have not been divulged. The stand-off has worsened relations between Argentina and the IMF, already at odds over the country’s financial crisis a decade ago.