Application brings to Cuba "as an alternative" world data on COVID-19
This month, a mobile phone application that uses email as a connection has brought more than 20,000 people in Cuba worldwide data on COVID-19, "as an alternative to information for ordinary Cubans," the developer told Efe on Monday. of the new Salvi Pascual service.
"We are a transfer platform, we do not touch the data," says Pascual, executive director of "Apretaste!", Created by a Miami-based technology company whose mission is to connect "thousands of Cubans to the Internet of the cheapest and uncensored way. "
With seven years running, "You squeezed!" transfers with the new "Coronavirus" service "legitimate data extracted from the Novel Coronavirus Data Repository," says Pascual.
The computer scientist refers to the figures offered by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), of the American Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which reflects data by country.
"It is a daily summary of the global situation of cases of infected, healed and deceased, to know in which countries it has gone better. These data are in line with what the Cuban independent press" says about the coronavirus, explains Pascual.
"(In Cuba) the national (official) press is not aware of how the world situation is. The Cuban government does not know how credible it is," remarks the developer on the situation of one of the countries in the world with the lowest level connectivity.
Although the situation has improved in the last two years, in 2018 only 5% of the island's population accessed the network, according to an investigation by the NGO Freedom House.
HOW DOES THE APP WORK?
According to Pascual, in Cuba, where "You squeezed!" It has more than 200,000 users in total, "there are many people who have access to email and do not surf the net."
"It is an app like any other. The application sends an email to our server, and we send a response with another server. We use email as a connection method, but it does not have to go to the inbox," explains the programmer. .
Pascual claims that the island's authorities are trying to block this system.
"They try to block us a lot, but we have methods by changing the IP address. We send everything encrypted and there is no way they can detect the content," he adds.
Regarding the idea of sending content to a mobile phone and not to a computer, he affirms that "it is the best way, because the majority in Cuba connects by phone."
"A phone is designed to connect to the internet. Also, this is better than a computer and cheaper," he added.
The service for Android of the new database was launched last week, while this Wednesday they will launch another one for IOS, Pascual confirmed.
"The 'Squeeze!' App offers free access to dozens of critical internet services, using anonymous networks and Nauta mail (provided by the Cuban Government) in a secure and compressed way. In this way, the Cuban surfs anonymously and saves money, "says a press release from the developers .
Pascual also argues that, with the new app, it can be countered "the attitude of a government helps to increase or decrease the number of infected."
These same Miami programmers launched "Pizarra" in 2018, a new social network created similar to Twitter.
The idea then was that Cubans living outside the island interact with those inside. "Whiteboard" allows users to be the content moderators themselves.
The island, which until recently was one of the most disconnected countries in the world, is promoting a computerization process that in the last two years has included the authorization of internet access from homes and the enabling of internet service on telephones. mobiles.
The state-owned ETECSA is the only internet and telephone provider in Cuba.