How would your life look like without Internet?

Every morning you wake up in Cuba and only one of the five government TV stations have morning programs. You turn the black and white TV to watch irrelevant canned programs. You turn to the local newspaper that talks about things that are really known by the locals, without any international news.

You have a computer at home but you are not allowed to have access to Internet.

A friend of yours, who works for a local news company has some access to internet in his home, but even that is limited and censored, yet good enough to check emails and maintain a Facebook page. Three months ago you’ve been able to create your FB page but you haven’t looked at it even since; it takes too long to upload the information on FB and to seek your friends.

Why such an informational isolation in Cuba?

”There is a strong tendency for governments, big organizations and companies to try to control the Web,” asserted Tim Berners-Lee in a recent interview for Spiegel.

According to Spiegel, in March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a 58 Briton “established a place for himself in the history books by creating the World Wide Web,” writing a paper titled “Information Management — A Proposal.” His research eventually led to the the World Wide Web. “Today, Berners-Lee is a professor at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Southhampton in England,” and he continues to fight for a free and uncensored access to Internet for all people. However, along with the Cubans, it seems more than half of the world’s population have access to Internet.

Barners-Lee thinks that the Internet must be protected by international laws in order to secure the right to privacy, “the right not to be spied on and the right not to be blocked.”  Furthermore, “the commercial marketplace should be completely open” he says, and “You should be able to visit any political website apart from the things that we all agree are illegal, nasty and horrible.”

Although this year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web, the Cuban government continues to restrict access to the Web, and it does not consider that Internet access is a fundamental human right. Anyway, since there are no opposing political parties and there is no commercial marketplace, why would the Cubans need the Internet or access to social media?

A government official will respond that there is access to Internet, but mainly in academic settings. Here is how it works. If students have to write a report and they want to do some online research, they have to write on a paper the question they have. Then they hand the question to a designated person who might decide to take the paper to a person who has access to Internet. If the Internet person decides to do an Internet search, eventually, at a later time someone may return with the answer to the student.

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