Tag Archives: PC Magazine

Black Markets and Secret Thumb Drives: How Cubans Get Online

Black Markets and Secret Thumb Drives: How Cubans Get Online

PC MagazineIn 2007, it was illegal to purchase a PC in Cuba. Now Cubans use a variety of crafty solutions to get online. How did we get here? Will Fenton travels to Havana to find out.

In 2009, Alan Gross faced 15 years in prison for setting up a Wi-Fi network in Cuba. Today I can sit on a bench in Havana with a Materva soda and a bag of chiviricos (fried dough) and surf the New York Times website using a government-issued navigation card.

Seven years ago, Gross traveled to Cuba under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development and created three satellite Internet networks via Jewish synagogues in Havana, Santiago, and Camagüey. He was arrested, and served more than five years in prison before he was released through a prisoner exchange.  Continue reading