Cuba Fears “Cyberdissidents”

David Makarewicz, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Has the cold war gone digital?  A leaked video (Spanish language) of a Cuban intelligence expert warning interior ministry officials of the threat to Cuba posed by social networks brings attention to the debate about the effectiveness of social networking as a revolutionary tool.  Bloggers critical of Cuban policy, such as Octavo Cerco, claim that the Cuban government wants to stifle social networks and blogs because “they are aware of the danger that poses to a totalitarian government which hides the truth from its people.”  The Cuban government has unleashed its own state-sanctioned bloggers, such as Manuel Henriquez, who claim that the United States is using the Internet to attack Cuba by financing the critics and smuggling internet equipment to Cuban citizens.

According to Reuters, experts believe that the effectiveness of any cyber-revolution will depend greatly on Cuba’s ability to improve connectivity levels, which remain poor.  Only a small percentage of Cubans have Internet access and that access is typically limited to the government-controlled intranet that does not allow connection to social media such as Twitter or Facebook.

David Makarewicz is a lawyer specializing in internet law concerning privacy rights and copyright defense for websites and blogs.  Visit his new blog to keep up with breaking Internet news.


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