Oh well, at least the Cuban dictatorship and its promoters here in the U.S. (“Cuba Experts”) were able to celebrate another achievement of the Castro revolution for a few days before those annoying details rained on their parade. It turns out — just as we said from day-one — that those 118 “internet cafés” being opened by the Castro dictatorship providing regular Cubans access to the World Wide Web is not really the internet and does not really provide access.
Imagine that: Another reform from dictator Raul Castro that is nothing more than propaganda.
Cuba’s new Internet locales remain conditioned
While other countries have Internet cafés, Cubans are joking that the communist government has just opened a string of “Internet Corrals.”
On Monday, the state telecommunications monopoly ETCSA opened 118 locales, each with an average of three terminals with Internet access, across the least Web-connected nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Users marveled at the relatively high speeds of the connections and their access to some Web pages once blocked by the government. Others, like Radio/TV Marti, the U.S. government broadcaster that transmits to the island, remain blocked.
But access to the Web at the “cyberpuntos” remained tightly conditioned — even chillingly so.
Users must show their national ID cards and sign an agreement that they will not use the service for anything “that could be considered … as damaging or harmful to the public security” — a vague term that presumably can include political dissidence.
And when users try to send out any attachments, ETECSA’s own NAUTA interface system greets them with a pop-up window that certainly appears to be a reminder that Big Brother is watching.
“When you send information to the Internet, other people may see what you are sending. Do you wish to continue?” the message says. Click yes or no.
The pop-up window is marked “Internet Explorer” and is known to be a real if infrequent message generated by that search engine. Yet several Cuban cybernauts said they never see that message when they use Internet cafes in Havana’s tourist hotels.
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