pickens writes: The LA Times reports that 84-year-old Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro consumes 200 to 300 news items a day on the World Wide Web and in a recent interview called web communication "the most powerful weapon that has existed" and extolled its power to break a stranglehold on the media by "the empire" and "ambitious private groups that have abused it" adding that the Internet "has put an end to secrets.... We are seeing a high level of investigative journalism, as the New York Times calls it, that is within reach of the whole world." Well, not the whole world. Cuba has the lowest level of Internet penetration in the Western Hemisphere (lower than Haiti), plus severe government restrictions and censorship affecting those who do have access. In addition Cuban law bans using the Internet to spread information that is against what the government considers to be the social interest, norms of good behavior, the integrity of the people or national security. Most Cubans who do have computers have access only to a Cuban intranet, a national e-mail system with approved websites and journals while on the World Wide Web, Cubans encounter filters and blocks on any information coming or going that might be construed as unfriendly to the Cuban government.
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