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Russia Tightens and Cuba Loosens Technology Freedoms


Russia and Cuba, two countries with a history of repression, are both adjusting government regulation of technology. Cuba is giving the green light to more personal freedoms, while Russian authorities are bringing expression to a screeching halt.

Yesterday, Cuban president Raul Castro lifted the ban on the sale of computers, DVDs, and video players. While Cuba's new leader is showing mild signs of loosening government control, Russia is moving to muzzle opposition.

Russian prosecutors have just filed criminal charges against a blogger who wrote that the police should be publicly incarcerated. The blogger's comments came after police raided a newspaper critical of the government. Unlike communist Cuba, Russia is at least nominally a democracy.

The internet has given government resisters a medium to voice outrage, when all other outlets are in the tight grip of dictators. Do you think loosening in Cuba will inevitably lead to more freedom? Can countries like Russia ever wipe out opposing voices from the virile internet, as it has from newspapers and television?

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