News and Facts about Cuba

In freedom of online speech, U.S. and Cuba at opposite extremes: Freedom House report

In of online speech, U.S. and Cuba at opposite extremes:

House report

By Zach Dyer

The United States and Cuba are at opposite extremes of Freedom House's

Freedom on the Net 2012 report. According to the New York-based

organization, the United States was ranked the second most "free"

country in the world for online , while Cuba was listed as the

second to worst.

Freedom House ranked 47 countries as "free," "partly free," or "not

free" for its 2012 report, which surveyed six countries in the Americas

– Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and the U.S.

While the U.S. scored near the top of the list, Freedom House warned the

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act

(PIPA) — which have been temporarily derailed — had the potential to

threaten online. The report also cited the renewal of

controversial provisions of the PATRIOT Act and legal ambiguities about

information stored in the "cloud" as cause for concern.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Freedom House rated Cuba as one of

the worst countries in the world for online freedom of expression. The

report charged that has taken a different tack

from his brother, Fidel, in dealing with web access, relying

on prohibitively high costs for connectivity and a lack of

infrastructure rather than long-term sentences to limit

unregulated use of the Internet.

Despite the Orwellian limitations independent journalists and bloggers

face in Cuba, individuals have found ways around the regime's firewalls.

The report details how young Cubans are turning to Twitter and blogs to

voice their critiques of the government and talk about their daily lives.

Meanwhile, Mexico ranked 19 in Freedom House's assessment and stood out

for the role organized crime played in the country's steep decline in

Internet freedom. Online journalists and bloggers used to enjoy relative

safety but 2011 saw the first drug-related killings of bloggers who

denounced organized crime in cities like Nuevo Laredo.

Mexican officials have also cracked down on the use of social media,

especially in Veracruz and Tabasco where bills were introduced to

criminalize spreading false rumors via social networks like Twitter.

Brazil and Argentina enjoy a relatively high level of online free speech

but their records were marred by aggressive use of the courts to

restrict online speech. In Venezuela, the second lowest scoring country

in the region after Cuba, the biggest threats to online speech were

cyberattacks. The pro-government organization N33, for instance, has

harassed opposition journalists and politicians by hacking into their

Twitter and e-mail accounts.

The report found that freedom on the net does not always translate into

a free press, noting significant disparities between the relative

freedom of online speech and the much more restrictive and dangerous

state of press freedom in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.

Read the full Freedom on the Net 2012 report here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Follow Us
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusCheck Our Feed
October 2012
« Sep   Nov »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  
Donate for Servers
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support to pay for more powerful servers. Thank you.
Cubaverdad on Twitter
Tweets by @Cubaverdad