Cuba accused of using Chinese technology system to block internet access in protest

Cuba has been accused of adopting a Chinese-made technology system to control and block Internet access. Lack of freedom and worsening economic conditions.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) On Sunday statement The Cuban administration “immediately blocks internet and mobile services to prevent videos about what’s happening to get out into the world,” he said on Twitter.

Later that day he I have written“I warned about this today.” It’s happening and will continue, “he added,” by the way, they use the system manufactured, sold and installed by #China, # Cuba’s Internet. It controls and blocks access to. ”The ruling party in China is also a dictatorship of the Communist Party.

Thousands of Cuban citizens went out on the streets of several cities across communist Caribbean islands on Sunday, calling for greater freedom and the end of the communist dictatorship. They also protested ongoing food shortages and high food prices amid the ongoing deterioration of the country’s economic situation due to the pandemic.

according to The Associated Press gathered protesters at rally points shared on popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Authorities then began shutting down Internet services in some cities on Sunday afternoon to prevent dissidents from broadcasting protests live, news agencies reported.

Network Interference Open Observatory (OONI), a global Internet censorship watchdog report At the end of Monday, Cuba began blocking WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal messaging apps in protest.

Alp Toker, director of London-based internet surveillance company Netblocks, told The Associated Press that Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram were blocked. Twitter didn’t seem to be blocked, but Toker said the administration could block it if needed.

Internet access is restricted and expensive in Cuba. The communist government announced in 2017 that it would gradually expand its home Internet services, allowing homes and businesses private Wi-Fi networks in 2019. Cuba was also granted full mobile internet access in December 2018 through the state-owned telecommunications company ETECSA, the only company that provides internet access.

However, the result is extensive control over Human rights watchThe Cuban administration has regularly suppressed voices that disclose critical information to the government, saying, “Harassment, violence, systematic slander, travel restrictions, internet disconnection, online harassment, home and office raids, We are harassing work materials and arbitrarily arresting them. , “And keep them out of communication.

Freedom house We rate Cuba as “not free” for internet freedom and give it 22 out of 100.

Chinese technology has previously been involved by various groups as it could be used by the Cuban regime to facilitate censorship.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting in December 2020 report ETECSA’s major technology providers are Huawei, TP-Link and ZTE, three Chinese companies.

OONI Reported in 2017 “It turns out to support Cuba’s Internet infrastructure,” said Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant.

“For example, the server header for a blocked site points to a Huawei device,” the report said. “It’s clear that Cuba uses Huawei access points, but it’s unclear if and to what extent the company actually does Internet censorship in the country.”

The group also said it found the Chinese code used in Cuba’s Wi-Fi access portal, and the source code for the state-owned ETECSA login portal includes “comments written in Chinese.” Said that. The report states that “it is likely that ETECSA has hired a Chinese developer to implement the portal.”

Also note that the server’s HTTP headers contain the network management system “looks like it’s associated with a Huawei device called eSight” “V2R2C00-IAE / 1.0”.

This observation was made by the Swedish-based NGO Qurium Media Foundation. report June 2020.

“The presence of the V2R2C00-IAE header in some” web filtering “responses suggests the presence of an NIP product (Huawei Intrusion Detection System) that resides inline in the network,” the report said.

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