After the first time I read the below article about the private underground network in Cuba, I didn’t see much significance. However, after scanning it again for some discussion topics, I realized the potential this situation had.
For as long as media has existed, the government has fought to sensor and control it. Let it be age restrictions, movie ratings or TV censorship, the intent to control American communication channels is there. To their dismay, our constitutional right to free speech and expression has limited this to an extent.
Turning an eye to Cuba, things are quite different. The strong arm of the Cuban government has kept technological communications to a minimum for decades. This extended government power not only shows an opposing counterpart to our more constitutional approach to control, but it most likely will give us some insight as to the future of our own country. The S-Net, as they call it, provides a completely isolated experiment on the effects of total censorship on a widely popular computer network.
With S-Net patrons unable to be distracted by things that the government deems inappropriate, the network could turn into an immensely more constructive environment. Humans have always prospered when faced with adversity, so whats to say that people guided online by a controlling force won’t come up with new ideas and innovative interfaces to share thoughts and ideas.
On the other hand, without the to ability to freely express ones self, the S-Net might just stay a place where young adults play games, share memes and look up soccer scores.
As long as no major changes are made either to the Cuban government or to the S-Net, this could become a full scale experiment that shows the implications of complete government control over communications and provides the world with a valuable lesson as to which direction we should be heading.