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Thu Jul 22, 2021, 01:09 PM

Cuba censored the Internet amid protests. Florida leaders want Biden to respond

with balloon-based wireless.

As Cuba’s authoritarian government clamps down on Internet access, a handful of U.S. lawmakers are pointing to a possible countermeasure to keep protesters online: sending high-tech balloons that operate as makeshift cell towers for the island.

That’s one proposal several Florida politicians are pushing in the aftermath of historic protests that harnessed the power of social media to draw thousands to the streets.


Floating Internet balloons or broadcasting mobile Internet from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base could work — at least in theory — but the realities of physics, technology and diplomatic cooperation make them largely non-starters, multiple experts told The Washington Post.

“It’s a Hollywood scenario,” Doug Madory, who directs Internet analysis for the network monitoring company Kentik, said of the balloon proposal. “It certainly has never happened, and there have been a lot of Internet outages where this would have been useful.”


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