Freedom House has released their “Freedom on the Net 2011” report, and once again, Cuba ranks as one of the worst places on earth for internet freedom.
Despite a slight loosening of restrictions on the sale of computers in 2008 and the important growth of mobile-phone infrastructure in 2009 and 2010, Cuba remains one of the world’s most repressive environments for the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs). There is almost no access to internet applications other than e-mail, and surveillance is extensive, including special software designed to monitor and control many of the island’s public internet-access points.
Cuba was connected to the internet for the first time in 1996, and the National Center for Automated Interchange of Information (CENIAI), the country’s first internet-service provider (ISP), was established that year. However, the executive authorities continue to control the legal and institutional structures that decide who has access to the internet and how much access will be permitted. Nevertheless, a growing community of bloggers has consolidated their work, creatively using online and offline means to express opinions and spread information about conditions in the country.
A copy of the full report on Cuba in PDF format is available HERE.