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Castro's dictatorship legalizes Internet censorship with Decree-Law 35

castro dictatorship legalizes internet censorship with decree law 35Castro's dictatorship legalizes Internet censorship with Decree-Law 35. The provision limits freedom of expression on the Internet and qualifies calls for protests as cyber-terrorism.

The Cuban regime published on Tuesday in the Official Gazette No.92 Decree-Law 35 on "Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies and the Use of the Radioelectric Spectrum", which prohibits calling for protests through the Internet, which is described as "cyberterrorism". 

Pablo Domínguez Vázquez, Director of Cybersecurity of the Ministry of Communications (MINCOM) stated in a press conference that with this new legislation will be typified facts that until now had no legal support in the country in the environment of the network of networks such as ethical and social damages or incidents of aggression.

Among the issues that will be penalized according to the decree is the sharing of false news, offensive messages or "defamation with an impact on the prestige of the country" on social networks, the latter being rather ambiguous.

Also considered as "harmful dissemination" are publications of contents that "attempt against the constitutional, social and economic precepts of the State" or those that "incite to mobilizations or other acts that alter public order; disseminate messages that advocate violence, accidents of any kind that affect the privacy and dignity of people".

The legal text qualifies as "cyberterrorism" "those actions through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) whose purpose is to subvert the constitutional order, or to suppress or seriously destabilize the functioning of political and mass institutions, the economic and social structures of the state, or to force the public authorities to perform an act or refrain from doing so. Seriously disturbing the public peace. Seriously destabilize the functioning of an international organization. To provoke a state of terror in the population or a part of it".

In addition, the resolution seeks to "guarantee through the management of Cybersecurity incidents, the prevention, detection and timely response to possible enemy, criminal and harmful activities that may occur in cyberspace."

Dominguez Vazquez stated that Cybersecurity incidents will be classified according to their typification and level of danger. "The typification of Cybersecurity incidents is carried out with the aim of facilitating their characterization, they are grouped by categories and subcategories; while the characterization of the dangerousness of Cybersecurity incidents uses a four-level scale," he explained.

Regarding the implementation of the regulation, the official said that the Cuban State has a record of all "incidents" in social networks, so that "when these people are identified and are in the country, they will be imposed violations".

Among the sanctions that offenders may face is the suspension of Internet service or the termination of the contract, in addition to "the criminal, civil or administrative liability arising from the fact".

According to Wilfredo López Rodríguez, director of Regulations of the Ministry of Communications, Decree-Law No 35 is the first legal norm of higher rank approved in Cuba on Telecommunications services, ICTs and the Use of the Radioelectric Spectrum.

López added that the radio electric spectrum constitutes "a scarce, limited, inalienable, imprescriptible and unseizable resource, over which the State exercises its sovereignty, and cannot be ceded as property to natural or legal persons", which could be related to Joe Biden's statements regarding facilitating Internet access to Cubans.

Numerous journalists, jurists and other Cuban citizens showed their disagreement with the content of the regulation shortly after it was published, mainly using the hashtag #NoAlDecretoLey35.

Former Cuban prosecutor Frank Ajete Pidorych questioned in his social networks the content of the third article, which provides "to contribute to the use of telecommunications services as an instrument for the defense of the Revolution", for which he considered that "the first objective of the Decree-Law is to instrumentalize a public service".

"The concept of public 'morality' appears again, maliciously braided to a politically conservative morality", added the jurist.

In addition, he said that with this resolution all those who requested "the resignation of Alpidio Alonso, besides being confused, mercenaries, malinches... can now be 'cyberterrorists', because you can even urge the public authorities to 'perform an act or refrain from doing so'."

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