Cuba is restricting access to the internet in response to protests: keep an eye on it.
According to a web monitoring organization, Cuban authorities have blocked access to key social media sites in an effort to halt the flow of information in the face of anti-government demonstrations.
According to data from the London-based organisation NetBlocks, there were outages on Monday for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and several Telegram services.
According to NetBlocks, the government can block access through the state-owned ETECSA (Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba) and Cubacel, the country’s sole mobile communications service.
Some Cubans, according to NetBlocks, were able to circumvent the limitations by utilizing virtual private networks, or VPNs.
The limits were comparable to those imposed on social media during the San Isidro marches for creative freedom in Havana in November 2020, according to the group.
According to a statement, “NetBlocks encourages that governments adhere to international norms and internet governance frameworks and provide dependable internet connectivity, including during times of political unrest.”
In a tweet, US Representative Maria Elvira Salazar, who represents a district in south Florida with a large Cuban-American population, stated that “the government is shutting down the internet on the island” and “doesn’t want the world to witness what’s going on.”
Other regimes have used similar measures in response to protests or to prevent the distribution of pandemic-related information.
Nigeria cut off access to Twitter earlier this year as activists began to use the platform more frequently.
At least 50 internet shutdowns have been reported this year by the advocacy group AccessNow, including in Ethiopia, Myanmar, and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.