Monday, June 20, 2016

Cuban UN representative calls for Internet regulation

Belkis Romeu, Third Secretary in the Permanent Mission of Cuba at the United Nations spoke recently at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.

She advocated "democratic regulation" of the Internet, saying "while we must ensure the promotion and protection of freedom of expression, there are several examples that illustrate the dire need to regulate and make appropriate use of the Internet," and went on to site governmental Internet surveillance and the "ZunZuneo project aimed at creating situations of destabilization in Cuba to bring about change in our political system."

This vague restatement of the "party line" is characteristic of a hollow bureaucracy. I do not know what sort of regulation she is advocating and I have to assume that she is smart enough to realize that the ill-conceived ZunZuneo project was never a significant threat to the Cuban political system. Like the similarly ill-conceived Alan Gross project, it would have been a drop in the bucket had it gone undetected.

In failing, these projects gave the Cuban government propaganda fodder and embarrassed the US, but they don't explain the sad state of the Cuban Internet. Don't get me wrong -- I am in no way condoning ZunZuneo or the Alan Gross effort -- there are no good guys in this post.

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