UN Rapporteurs Show Concern About New Internet Regulations In Cuba

The UN Rapporteurs analyzed Decree 35, approved in April, as well as Decree 42 and Resolution 105/2021, published in August. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio) — Law decrees approved in April and August by the Cuban government to regulate telecommunications, which, among other things, establish various cybersecurity crimes, “could undermine freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association,” warned three United Nations rapporteurs.

In a recent letter to the Cuban authorities, the rapporteurs for freedom of expression (Irene Khan), of assembly (Clement Nyaletsossi) and defenders of human rights (Mary Lawlor) analyzed Decree 35, approved in April, as well as Decree 42 and Resolution 105/2021, published in August.

In this sense, the experts warn that these new regulations empower the Cuban armed forces to implement “special measures” on telecommunications, without precisely defining what they would be or requiring the authorization of a judge.

“Any restriction of rights must be provided for in the law, pursue a legitimate objective and meet the requirements of necessity and proportionality,” said the three rapporteurs, who warned that otherwise legitimate expressions could be withdrawn for political and other unjustified reasons.

They add that the provisions that empower service operators to suspend telecommunications services are vaguely formulated by allowing this possibility when “the information is false, offensive, harmful to human dignity” or “public morality and respect for public order.” .

“States should not suspend access to the Internet as a means to combat disinformation,” said the experts, who recalled that regulations with content too vague in this regard can limit the rights of journalists, political opponents and human rights defenders.

In light of these and other concerns, the rapporteurs ask the Cuban Government to modify these provisions “in order to define in a strict and limited way the contents that may be restricted, in accordance with international law.”

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