Information about Cuba collected during the "State of Censorship in Cuba" sessions (English and Spanish) and from previous conversations during the Latinos Dinner at CTF Tuesday night.

  • Only about 3% of Cubans have access to the Internet. Most who have access, have it through their job or university.
  • It is not even legal for a native Cuban to have Internet access at home. Cuban ISP ETECSA: "Por el momento este servicio no se oferta a las personas naturales cubanas o extranjeras residentes en el exterior que vengan de turismo a la isla (estas deben acudir a las salas de navegación), ni al sector residencial cubano." ("At this time this service is not offered to native Cubans or foreign residents on tourism to the island (these must make use of the cybercafes), nor to the Cuban residential sector.")
  • Official cybercafes (salas de navegación) are priced out of reach at $5/hour, where the median monthly income is around $20. Internet at tourist hotels is even higher, at $10/hour.
  • Most of the Internet access in Cuba is done offline: Users with some degree of access download content and share it offline via optical discs or pendrives. There is an established weekly medium called the "Paquete web" ("web package").
  • All Internet access is moderated by an HTTP proxy. Squid is commonly used. Censorship happens at the network edges, though there is coordination between operators as to what to block and allow.
  • The proxies only allow access to ports 443 and 80, and only to whitelisted domains or URLs. This is the whitelist for Infomed, one of the larger Cuban networks.
  • You can't do your own DNS lookups; all DNS happens through the proxy. You cannot browse by IP address. This makes most Tor pluggable transports (that identify a bridge by IP) unusable from Cuba.
  • In addition to whitelisting, the censors apparently throttle download bandwidth. The speakers showed speed tests where there was more upload bandwidth than download.
Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Mar 14, 2015, 5:42:12 PM