The Cuban government has introduced new regulations on the use of social media and the internet, which critics say are aimed at stifling dissent.
These decrees were issued in response to the biggest anti-government demonstrations in recent decades on the Communist-run island.
Social media was used by people to upload footage and rally supporters.
Inciting acts that “alter public order” is a crime under the decrees.
The government also orders internet providers to stop providing access to people who spread fake news and harm the image of the State.
These were printed in Gaceta Oficial just over a month following thousands of Cubans protesting against the Communist government.
Protests began in San Antonio de los Banos. They didn’t seem to have a formal organizer, but were organized through an internet community forum.
After a Facebook live stream of the San Antonio march, the messages quickly spread across the country.
Although only December 2018, Cubans were granted access to mobile internet, it has allowed them to obtain news from other sources than the state-controlled media.
Cuba’s telecoms network is still under state control. Users were unable to access Facebook, WhatsApp Instagram, Telegram, Instagram, or Instagram during the demonstrations.
Netblocks is a London-based monitoring company that monitors internet traffic. The director said at the time to Associate Press that outages were “a reaction to social media-fuelled demonstrations” by Cuba.
Officials from Cuba claimed that the decrees are meant to protect Cubans against cybercrime.
Wilfredo Gonzaga, Deputy Communications Minister, stated to AFP that the regulations had been created in order to safeguard Cubans’ privacy and personal data.
He added, however that the rules would protect officials of state as they “no longer can disparage an official in our country or our revolution process”.
Human Rights Watch’s Americas Director Jose Miguel Vivanco wrote on Twitter that the decrees were a move to tighten the government’s grip on the internet.
Vivanco stated that any “impact on the nation’s prestige” was now considered to be a cybersecurity incident.
These “crimes”, however, have yet to be punished.
Publiated at Wed 18 August 2021, 11:22.50 +0000