Updated Jul 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

1M Cubans use U.S. software to skirt government's social media blackouts

Cubans participate in an act of revolutionary reaffirmation to support the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on July 17, 2021
Cubans participate in an act of revolutionary reaffirmation to support the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on July 17. Photo: YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1 million people in Cuba every day are using an anti-censorship tool supported by the U.S. government to circumvent their own government's social media blackouts, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: Censorship-circumvention software company Psiphon Inc. has facilitated the transfer of over 600 terabytes of data from users in Cuba since Sunday, per Bloomberg.

  • Psiphon receives funding from the Open Technology Fund, a U.S. government nonprofit that supports global internet freedom technologies.

Driving the news: Cuba limited access to some social media and messaging apps following anti-government protests that started last Sunday Axios' Ina Fried reports.

  • President Biden said Thursday that the United States is looking into whether it is able to restore internet access that was shut down by the Cuban government.

Of note: Tens of thousands took to the streets on Saturday in a counter-protest in support of the government, AP reports. Both President Miguel Díaz-Canel and 90-year-old former President Raul Castro appeared.

Go deeper: Open Technology Fund sues administration for $20M in missing funds

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

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