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United States Spam

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

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 Nyder ( 754090 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @05:57AM (#46712095) Journal

    This is the level of brain-dead scheme that the CIA has pulled many times in the past, but it's just as likely that they're just getting overwhelmed by one incompetent spammer with a fat pipe...


    Not sure how fat of a pipe you need to send roughly 17 text messages a second. But 300k text messages over 5 hours isn't really that much, unless they are going to a small amount of numbers. Must be running some old systems in Cuba.

  • by macpacheco ( 1764378 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @06:13AM (#46712131)

    300k SMS in five hours ? That's just 18 SMS / second.
    Add three zeros and you're still not making even the oldest GSM network in the world sweat.
    Sounds like a big bowl of boloney mixed with a lot of malarkey.
    Perhaps the explanation is since everything is censored in Cuba, perhaps the govt minders were overwhelmed trying to censor that much SMS, that would actually make some sense.

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @07:48AM (#46712467)

    Another, perhaps less amusing thing is that the US actually do care; at least as long as there is a noisy group of displaced, Cuban voters to please.

  • by Johann Lau ( 1040920 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @07:52AM (#46712481) Homepage Journal

    The idiotic thing is that you think "the US" is a monolith, instead of a bunch of agencies made up by people, with plenty of incentive to use tax payer money for useless or even counterproductive things, like attacking Iraq in response to 9/11, or killing kids with drones. If anything, "The US" isn't in the business of dealing with threats, it's in the business of creating them while talking about mushroom clouds and fucking its own population as it jumps on chairs in fear of imaginary mice; and the population responds with hollow chauvinistic sound bites aimed about other populations to make itself feel better about it. You're pinned to the floor, get fleeced for everything of value you got, and scream "ahhh! sweet victory!" because it's even worse elsewhere. Fucking pathetic.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @08:10AM (#46712579)

    The Iraq analogy is pretty flawed, as Iraq would be asserting their morals upon a democratic population. USA's target is an authoritarian government. If you need an Iraq analogy, it would be like the government of Iraq sending people in the US spam SMS messages espousing the virtues of Islam. Annoying, to be sure, but not exactly a breathtaking intrusion on sovereignty.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:38AM (#46713305)

    .. that the Cuban government still think the US gives a damn about their 3rd world Island apart from Guantanamo Bay. Since the USSR collapsed its been pretty irrelevant in the scheme of things other than a source of refugees and comedy revolutionaries in green slacks with silly beards.

    Well, the problem is that there are some people who do care and their influence is way out of whack with regards to their actual numbers. There are a small number of members of the US House and Senate who are offspring of Cuban refugees and they have a lot of influence. The younger generation of people who immigrated many years ago has little interest in continuing the embargo, but there are still enough of the old hardcore anti-Castro people in Florida that no president is willing to undo the embargo for fear of the next presidential election going against his party. Florida is a hotly contested state that gives a very thin majority to whoever wins it in the presidential elections. Florida has a lot of electoral votes. So if you piss off, say, 40 or 50 thousand voters who care a lot (maybe too much) about the Castro brothers and Cuba, you could lose the next presidential election. So the president never has the courage to drop the embargo as either he or his party's next candidate will face angry voters in the next presidential election and it could be enough to decide the race in favor of the other party. It's rather remarkable to see an entire country held hostage to the whims of a really small group of people over one issue, but that's exactly how it is here.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!