Cubans on island bypass internet censorship with Psiphon app – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the Cuban government’s ability to limit access to Internet communications during the current anti-government protests, U.S. government officials and Cuban-American activists have suggested that the United States provide an unhindered Internet.
In a way, the US government is already involved with the help of a software company based in Canada.
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Psiphon, based in Canada, provides people with uncensored access to the Internet.
Psiphon bypasses government restrictions by allowing people to connect to a server that gives them secure access to web pages anywhere.
Critical in the development of street protests in Cuba, as in all movements, especially those in countries struggling with repressive regimes, where Internet services are censored or cut entirely.
Psiphon engineers say they can keep Cuban protesters connected.
“We are reconnecting you to the Internet. A secure tunnel that cannot be disrupted, ”said Michael Hull, president and founder of Psiphon.
In recent years, Cubans have gained access to the Internet.
They use communication apps like WhatsApp and Facebook, but when anti-government protests spread across the island, the regime shut down those services.
The ability of protesters to communicate and send videos has died out.
A simple free app helped overcome censorship.
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“Our service is designed to be able to support this type of activity. Maintaining social media or sending via instant messaging app. We are making sure that it continues to work, ”Hull said.
US politicians have suggested that satellite internet services such as Elon Musk’s star link could bypass Cuban crackdown on the internet, but the service is impractical because it requires a satellite dish, which would be easily spotted by the Cuban government.
An application, on the other hand, in the hands of a Cuban protester would be a whole different story.
Psiphon says, “There are a million and a half people in Cuba who use Psiphon, who connect to the Internet. “
The cry is that the US government is bringing the uncensored internet to Cuba.
Much of the funding for Psiphon, according to the company, comes from the U.S. government’s open technology fund.
“It is a determined effort by the United States Congress that Internet freedom, in general, be available,” Hull said.
Keeping the movement alive on both sides of the Straits of Florida depends heavily on communication and mobilization. Psiphon’s app was used to broadcast videos of the Cuban protests.
“We’re here to solve a real world problem and then happily walk away,” Hull said.
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It’s a cat and mouse game. Cubans are continually changing their censorship technology, and Psiphon is strengthening their secure tunnel.