A bicycle taxi walks past a mural with an illustration of dictator Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba, August 13 | Photo: EFE / Ernesto Mastrascusa

The Cuban dictatorship on Tuesday announced a new cybersecurity rule in the country, which considers the publication of “subversive” content on the Internet as a highly dangerous incident. The measure has sparked criticism from Internet users and organizations, who are already talking about a “gag law”.

In the country’s new telecommunications regulatory framework, “attempting to change public order” or “promoting social unruly” through information and communication technologies is an “incident of aggression” with a “very high” level of danger.

The new settlement comes at a time of strong social tensions in Cuba, where on July 11 thousands took to the streets to demand freedom and better living conditions amid a serious economic and health crisis.

Social media has played an important role in publicizing the protests in various parts of the country, which is why the dictatorship took the extreme step of blocking the internet for about a week.

Organizations and Internet users fear that the new measure announced today will be used by the regime to silence dissenting voices on the networks and prosecute those who criticize the Cuban system and its leaders.

“What worries me the most is the use of sovereignty, national defense or security by the Home Office to restrict freedom of expression,” the lawyer told Efe. Laritza Diversent, director and founder of the NGO Cubalex.

Laritza believes that the new regulations are a “gag law” with which Cuba can impose fines on those who criticize the regime, the Communist Party (PCC, the only legal party) or the dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Human Rights Watch’s director for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, expressed concern about the new legislation. “The Cuban regime further restricts the Internet: today it published several rules that allow the Internet to be shut down when information that the government deems ‘false’ is published and deal with the dissemination of information that harms the ‘prestige of the country’ like cybersecurity cases, “alerted by Twitter.

Resolution 105 instituted today, which defines the rules for responding to cybersecurity incidents, attributes a high level of danger to the dissemination of “content that violates the constitutional, social and economic precepts of the State, incites mobilisations or other acts which disturb public order ”, as well as the dissemination of false news.

Likewise, it considers the actions of “cyberterrorism” as those which can “overthrow the constitutional order”, destabilize the functioning “of political and mass institutions, of the economic and social structures of the State”, or “to constrain the authorities. public to an act or refrain from doing so “.