Decree-Law No. 35 on Telecommunications, information and communication technologies and the use of the radio spectrum in Cuba, published in the Official Gazette, constitutes the first legal norm of superior rank of the country that presents a legal basis for the defense of national sovereignty and people in cyberspace.
That a few hours after its publication a media operation was detected to defend it evidences the need for a regulation of this type that is not limited only to the field of spreading false news, as it has been intended to generalize, but also eliminates legal loopholes related to the protection and development of the radioelectric space, the integrity of Internet users and the development of the national infrastructure.
The legal package is approved in an urgent context. As has been demonstrated, the events of July 11 were marked by a media campaign originating from the Twitter platform and under the hashtag #SOSCuba, while the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that of the Presidency and the news media Granma, Juventud Rebelde and Cubadebate received cyber attacks that were detected from IP addresses located in the United States, France and Turkey.
The regulations serve to make it clear that the Cuban State is the one who manages the radioelectric spectrum in the nation. Remarkable aspect in the midst of threats from the United States Senate, which approved an amendment (3097) that asks President Joseph Biden to facilitate free access to the Internet in Cuba by creating a fund that enables this service.
Cuba is not the only country in the world that has decided to set legal guidelines in the area of telecommunications and cyberspace. On the contrary, perhaps the regulation should have appeared much earlier when cyberbullying and the repercussion of false news began to have a presence in our citizens.
According to the official website of the European Council, the European Union (EU) takes measures to face cybersecurity challenges that are aimed at improving cyber resilience, fighting cybercrime, boosting cyber diplomacy and strengthening cyber defense.
“In May 2019, the Council established a framework that allows the EU to impose specific sanctions to prevent and respond to cyberattacks that constitute an external threat to the EU or its Member States.
More specifically, this framework allows the EU for the first time to impose sanctions on persons or entities responsible for cyberattacks or attempted cyberattacks, or who provide financial, technical or material support or are otherwise implicated, as well as others. persons and entities associated with them ”, he refers.
According to the latest United Nations report, a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds throughout the world, therefore, to protect countries from aggressions that may affect their management and internal order, it is necessary to understand cybersecurity within the public policies through legislation.
In France three years ago a law was passed against the manipulation of information that implies the punishment with penalties of 45 thousand euros or jail. The regulation highlights three essential crimes: manifest false news, massive dissemination of the same and alteration of public order and the electoral vote.
The Malaysian government imposes fines of $ 123,000 and penalties of up to six years in prison for creating, publishing or disseminating “totally or partially false” news that affects the country or its citizens.
On the other hand, in the United Kingdom a cybercrime can be paid with 14 years in prison and even life imprisonment. The legislation includes, among other aspects, the damage of sensitive material that includes: damage to the well-being of people, the environment, the country’s economy, national security and any other nation, etc.
Meanwhile, in Germany the government promotes political education and training for citizens on fake news. In addition, in 2018 a rule came into force that obliges digital platforms to delete messages with “criminal content” and if they do not do so they face millions in fines, points out the Deutsche Welle television station.
For its part, Latin America tries to make progress on cybersecurity and confronting fake news. In Argentina, the Observatory of disinformation and symbolic violence in digital media and platforms was launched.
In El Salvador, a proposed regulation calls for up to five years in prison for those who spread false information. Also, the Brazilian Senate approved in July 2020 a bill against fake news which has the resistance of the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro.
Freedom of expression is a right that assists all Cubans because it is endorsed in the Constitution of the Republic in its article 54. Decree-Law 35 does not limit the exercise of this right but rather establishes a legal framework for a contemporary phenomenon to faced by various societies: the spread of false news, and which has also been recognized as a threat to people’s freedom of expression.
At the same time, Cuban regulations promote the development of the infrastructure of the mobile radiocommunication system, among other issues that seek to improve telecommunications for a better development of the country.
Protecting personal and national information and avoiding information manipulation are challenges that citizens and their governments must face. Currently we live in a scenario in which the network of networks provides tools in our favor, but they can harm us by creating virtual realities for political purposes.
Education about fake news and the development of a culture of cybersecurity is an important step for its detection, but its legal control is also essential for a more humanistic and liberating use of these technological platforms.