#imweekly: August 19, 2013

Internet Monitor 2013-08-20

Cuba Earlier this year, Cuba’s government-owned telecommunications firm activated two undersea fiber optic cables and announced it would open 100 new public Internet cafés. Cuban citizens, heretofore largely cut off from the global Internet, are now beginning to go online. Access is not cheap—at $4.50 per hour, or roughly the average weekly salary for a state employee, using one of the cafés is still out of reach for many Cubans—and those who want to go online must first sign a statement swearing they will not do anything that might harm Cuba’s “economy, sovereignty or national security.”

Thailand The government of Thailand has announced its intentions to monitor conversations on the Line messaging app, claiming that surveillance is necessary to “safeguard order, security and morality of Thailand.” The national police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division has asked the Japan-based company to give access to Thai authorities.

United Kingdom The partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been reporting on the NSA’s surveillance programs for the Guardian, was detained at Heathrow airport yesterday under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. David Miranda had been in Berlin to meet with a filmmaker who has been working with Greenwald on the Snowden files; he was returning to his home in Rio de Janeiro when he was stopped and questioned for nine hours—the maximum allowed by the law. His laptop, phone, and other electronics were confiscated. Greenwald has publicly stated that the detention was an “abuse of the law” intended to intimidate reporters writing about the NSA; Amnesty International has spoken out against the detention.

#imweekly is a regular round-up of news about Internet content controls and activity around the world. To subscribe via RSS, click here.