Tags: google | visits | cuba | internet | access

Google Visits Cuba to Try and Expand Country's Internet Access

By    |   Monday, 30 Jun 2014 11:17 AM

Google's top brass, including executive chairman Eric Schmidt, visited Cuba last week in an effort to help the island communist country gain greater access to the Internet.

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, writing for The Huffington Post, reported Saturday that she met with the Google executives while they were visiting recently. Jared Cohen and Dan Keyserling, director and chief of staff for Google Ideas, along with Brett Perlmutter — who is also a member of Google Ideas — joined Schmidt on the Cuba trip, according to Sanchez.

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"I asked if they had connected to the web from any public place. 'Slow, very slow' . . . they explained," Sanchez wrote in her Huffington Post piece. "Then we started talking about the future, their commitment to Cuban internauts, and the relief of knowing they were aware of the information difficulties we are facing on the island."

The Google executives took a tour of the University of Information Sciences, a technology research center based in Havana, and met with editors and reporters of 14ymedio.com, a blog Sanchez created, according to CNET.com.

"It was a technological night without technology," Sanchez wrote. "No one took out their cellphones to check the web — it's not possible in Cuba — and it didn't occur to anyone to show us the latest doodle, nor to tell us in figures the scale of the company in which they work."

Freedom House reported last October that Cuba, China, and Iran are the most repressive countries in terms of Internet freedom. That assessment also discovered that 34 out of the 60 countries studied experienced some kind of decline in Internet freedom.

"While blocking and filtering remain the preferred methods of censorship in many countries, governments are increasingly looking at who is saying what online, and finding ways to punish them," said Sanja Kelly, project director for the "Freedom on the Net" assessment by Freedom House. "In some countries, a user can get arrested for simply posting on Facebook or for 'liking' a friend's comment that is critical of the authorities."

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Google's top brass, including executive chairman Eric Schmidt, visited Cuba last week in an effort to help the island communist country gain greater access to the Internet.
google, visits, cuba, internet, access
364
2014-17-30
Monday, 30 Jun 2014 11:17 AM
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