MIAMI – The Office of Cuba Broadcasting has debuted two new Internet censorship circumvention tools — a paper USB drive and a mobile phone-based social network – in order to provide accurate news and information to one of the most press-restrictive environments in the world. The tools, which were on display last week at the BBG Innovation Expo, add to the growing list of technological innovations that OCB uses to get information to people in Cuba.
The Miami-based multimedia broadcaster will soon be distributing its video and audio news programs to the island on disposable USB flash drives made entirely of paper. In addition, OCB, which oversees Radio and TV Martí, has developed Piramideo, an SMS-based social network which makes it easier for people to share information and connect with each other, free from government control. Piramideo capitalizes on the increase in cell phone use on the island and does not require a mobile Internet connection.
“These initiatives will enhance and empower the way people in Cuba share information,” said OCB Director Carlos García-Pérez. “In the absence of a free press in Cuba, our job is to provide the people of Cuba balanced news and information that they don’t have.”
The Martís boast the largest network of independent journalists on the island, providing breaking news and information from inside Cuba. By providing these innovative networking and distribution tools, the broadcaster helps to enable the free flow of information, despite attempts by the government to restrict it.