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United States Spam

Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the filling-the-pipes dept.
mpicpp (3454017) writes in with news about accusations from Cuban officials about a spamming campaign against the country by the U.S.. "Cuban officials have accused the U.S. government of bizarre plots over the years, such as trying to kill Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. On Wednesday, they said Washington is using a new weapon against the island: spam. 'It's overloading the networks, which creates bad service and affects our customers,' said Daniel Ramos Fernandez, chief of security operations at the Cuban government-run telecommunications company ETECSA. At a news conference Wednesday, Cuban officials said text messaging platforms run by the U.S. government threatened to overwhelm Cuba's creaky communications system and violated international conventions against junk messages. The spam, officials claim, comes in the form of a barrage of unwanted text messages, some political in nature. Ramos said that during a 2009 concert in Havana performed by the Colombian pop-star Juanes, a U.S. government program blanketed Cuban cell phone networks with around 300,000 text messages over about five hours."
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Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @06:15AM (#46712133) Journal
    They are hardly a dangerous player in Cold War intrigue anymore; but I wouldn't necessarily underestimate the supply of nostalgic B-list and below feds just itching to go fight the last war, now set to 'casual' difficulty level.

    Unless they truly fuck something up, people just keep accruing seniority until they die or finally become too senile to disguise their senility. We still have some years left before we've aged out all the cold warriors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @06:21AM (#46712149)

    If you read the article it's unlikely that it's a spammer. Apparently the USA has actively spammed Cuba in the past under the argument of 'fostering free speech'. We built and distributed programs that are illegal in Cuba. It would be similar to people from Iraqi coming over to the USA and physically forcing as many people as they could to wear headscarfs under the argument of improving our morals. They have no more right to force their values on us as we do to force our values on Cuba's population.

    Our government confirms it had these programs. They were stopped due to funding cuts (some funding cuts actually work, yay!). This article isn't about the 300,000 text messages that are known to have been sent by USA back in 2009, but about Cuba's new claim that the USA has refunded and restarted it's spamming efforts. I really hope we're not wasting money on crap like this.

  • by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @07:10AM (#46712299)

    It would be similar to people from Iraqi coming over to the USA and physically forcing as many people as they could to wear headscarfs under the argument of improving our morals

    I expect you're one of those people who thinks Venezuela's current government is "forging a bold new alternative to neo-liberalism", aren't you.

  • Re:The sheer volume! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @07:53AM (#46712487) Journal

    It's 2009, networks were smaller then.

    According to this [wikipedia.org] there were just 300k mobiles in Cuba in 2008.

    So it was actually an attempt to spam every person with a mobile in Cuba with pro-US propaganda. And it's just one of many such political spammings, and they still continue.

  • by romco (61131) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @07:57AM (#46712503) Homepage

    >feds just itching to go fight the last war

    I don't think the feds want to go to war. Cuba is communist and parts of it work. (like health care for the amount they spend). If they lifted the embargo and stop messing with them they could become a very successful communist country.

    The success would be more due to them being a great tourist location and less because they are communist but the right wing is simply not going to tolerate a successful communist county if they can do anything about it.

  • Re:The sheer volume! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erikkemperman (252014) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @10:31AM (#46713955)

    Yeah, so their cellular networks are not quite as advanced as much of the rest of the world. How did you expect them to keep up, given that economic sanctions prohibit most producers of relevant hard- and software from trading with Cuba? Given the circumstances they have to chose their battles, I guess. It is a miracle how they managed to build up one of the most advanced healthcare systems in Latin America.

    By the way, there was a really fascinating AP story [wikipedia.org] about a related US attempt to disrupt this sovereign nation: USAID covertly set up a fake twitter service, complete with shell companies, executives recruited on false pretexts, and so on. It reads like a bad spy novel, until you realize how sad it is that this counts as "development". If these were my taxdollars at work, I'd go see about that pitchfork.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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