Filtering Cuba’s Text Messages; Free Smartphones for India’s Voters

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:12 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Today’s Tech Sightings:

Cubans use the internet via public Wi-Fi in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 5, 2016. (Reuters)

Cubans use the internet via public Wi-Fi in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 5, 2016. (Reuters)

Cuba Has Been Filtering Texts Containing Political Dissent

Internet connectivity has been a difficult transition for Cuba’s Communist government, which apparently is filtering out and blocking democracy and human rights key words from mobile phone text messages, according to an investigative report. The report, by blogger Yoani Sanchez and journalist Reinaldo Escobar, found that text messages containing words like democracy, human rights, hunger strike, dissident names, and at least 30 other words, failed to reach their destination.

Google, Apple, Twitter, Others Back Microsoft Over Gag Orders

Civil liberties groups and trade bodies have joined Microsoft and other tech giants in the fight against keeping their users in the dark whenever law enforcement agencies request their information. The groups filed legal briefs backing Microsoft’s attempt to prevent law enforcement agencies from forcing companies not to disclose to their customers whenever their information is being requested. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act can compel companies to hand over consumer information for investigation without informing users.

Indian Politicians Lure Young Voters With Free Smartphones, Laptops

Indian politicians are going after young voters by meeting their gadget needs. In Uttar Pradesh, which holds elections next year, the state’s chief minister announced free smartphones for all young voters with annual family incomes below $3,000. The government said the smartphones will serve to inform and educate the poor about its policies. Online registration is expected to begin in October.


Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *