Cuba: We're forced to 'finance' the InternetRead the interchange [here].
By Declan McCullagh
Story last modified Thu Nov 02 06:27:42 PST 2006
ATHENS, Greece--A Cuba government official told a United Nations summit here that the U.S. government was to blame for the poor Internet access that its citizens endure.
Juan Fernandez, a government official in the Cuba's Commission of Electronic Commerce, on Wednesday assailed the U.S. government's economic embargo and argued that, as a result, poorer countries are "financing" the Internet. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Fernandez to a high-level working group two years ago.
Fernandez's only problem was that a longtime Internet engineer and researcher was present and challenged those claims. Bill Woodcock, research director of the nonprofit Packet Clearing House who has set up Internet exchange points in Latin America and other developing nations, replied by saying that the Cuban government's problems stem from its own telecommunications monopoly and its official censorship policies.
A report published last month by the Reporters Without Borders advocacy group says "it is forbidden to buy any computer equipment without express permission from the authorities," and spyware "installed in all Internet cafes automatically detects banned content." U.S. law exempts telecommunications equipment and service from the trade embargo (click here for PDF).
Read on for excerpts from the U.N. Internet Governance Forum's official transcript of the exchange during the plenary session.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Cuba blames the US for lack of Internet
But it is clearly the regime that uses censorship to keep Cubans from the INTERNET. Read about Cuban official Juan Fernandez (appointed by el cafe Annan to an UN internet working group) squirm when challanged by an expert Internet engineer.