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Technology 2 August 2021

The Week in Internet News: Biden Looks for Ways to Restore Internet in Cuba

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

The right to protest: U.S. President Joe Biden is looking for ways to bring Internet service to Cuba after the government there shut down most service following protests in mid-July, The Associated Press reports. Cuba’s government blames anti-Castro groups in the U.S. of using social media, especially Twitter, to campaign against it, and it says Twitter has done nothing to stop the efforts. As we discussed last week, several options for restoring Internet access are on the table, including Google’s retired Wi-Fi balloons.

The many flavors of community networks: The Benton Institute for Broadband and Society has an article featuring six U.S. community broadband networks. Community broadband networks come in a variety of models, with some broadband networks rolled out by city-owned utilities providers, and other places creating last-mile open access services. Meanwhile, in other broadband deployment news, Fox13new.com notes that Google Fiber is planning an expansion of its footprint beyond Salt Lake City to seven other cities in northern Utah.

No to spyware: In another follow-up from last week, Israeli phone hacking vendor NSO Group has temporarily blocked government customers from using its Pegasus surveillance software after news reports that the software was being used to spy on human rights activists, journalists, and other questionable targets, NPR reports. Israeli officials have also visited NSO’s office “in order to assess the allegations raised in regards to the company,” the country’s defense ministry said.

No encryption? Ukrainian authorities have seized the virtual private network servers of Canadian privacy-tools vendor Windscribe, but the VPN service wasn’t so private after all, Ars Technica reports. Windscribe had failed to encrypt the servers. Two servers hosted in Ukraine were seized as part of an investigation into apparent activity from a year earlier. The servers were configured to use a setting that was found to be insecure back in 2018. Oops.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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