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[FYI] "German encryption and monitoring firm"


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17 May 1999

Note: Leads on the "German encryption and monitoring firm" cited below
would be appreciated. While CryptoAG may be a candidate, with NSA's
complicity, it is surely not the only one offering dual-use duplicity.

[Congressional Record: May 13, 1999 (House)]
[Page H3091-H3109]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:cr13my99-28]


 Report by the Delegation of the U.S. Association of Former Members of
              Congress: Visit to Cuba, January 10-16, 1999

  Members of Delegation: Hon. Louis Frey, Jr., Chairman; Hon. Dennis 
 DeConcini; Hon. Robert W. Kasten, Jr.; Hon. Larry Pressler; Hon. Alan
            Wheat; Mr. Walter Raymond, Jr.; Mr. Oscar Juarez


       The U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress sent a 
     seven-member, bipartisan delegation to Cuba from 10 to 16 
     January 1999 to see first hand current political, economic 
     and social conditions in Cuba and to engage in a series of 
     frank discussions concerning U.S.-Cuban relations. ...

       The United States should exhibit a greater sense of 
     confidence that increased contacts between the United States and
     Cuba will work to the advantage of the development of a more open
     society rather than to help Castro. People-to- people contacts,
     increased travel, an unlimited supply of food and medicines are
     not viewed by the Cuban people as an aid to Castro, but rather as
     support to the Cuban people.

     Policy Recommendations ...

       10. Technical breakthroughs in the telecommunications 
     industry should be explored to increase information links to
     Cuba. Internet, e-mail, cell phones and other state-of-the- art
     communications slowly are bringing information and ideas to the
     country. It is recommended that the U.S. Government and Congress
     consider authorizing U.S. telecommunications companies to explore
     possibilities for establishing more open and diverse
     communications between the United States and Cuba. ...

  background to policy recommendations and other observations by the 


     The Cuban Minister of Communications and the Director of 
     Telecommunications expressed a strong interest in more 
     foreign investments in all areas of telecommunications. They are,
     however, reluctant to give the citizens complete access to
     Internet. As an example, while cellular phones are being
     developed under the rubric CUBACEL with a Mexican partner,
     security concerns significantly have slowed this effort.

       Castro and his Minister of Interior have succeeded in 
     implementing a program of very tight control of Cuba's access to
     the Internet and are opposed to expanding the telecommunications
     sector and Internet. The Cubans also completely control the
     Internet server provider (ISP). The Cubans have an intra-island
     Internet with which university- approved people and others have
     access. In addition, there are several Internet sites within
     Cuban which are available. In terms of international internet,
     individual Cubans can access only those sites approved for them.
     For example, a medical university may have access to certain
     medical sites, but each is encrypted, monitored and recorded.

       At the same time, the rapid technical advances in the world 
     telecommunications industry create a serious dilemma for the
     Cuban regime. They need to have their key people on Internet for
     scientific and educational reasons, but are hesitant to grant
     unlimited access. To restrict this, they have worked with a
     German encryption and monitoring firm to keep track of ``who does
     what'' on Internet in Cuba. The Castro regime is making a strong
     effort to record all e-mail and all other computer transmissions.
     The delegation was advised that while Cubans now eagerly exchange
     e-mail transmissions--each delegation member received calling
     cards with e-mail addresses--all e-mail is monitored and recorded
     through one central server. While Cuban officials would not
     acknowledge this, the delegation was advised that only about 200
     Cubans have complete, unfettered access to the Internet. The
     Cuban government has not resolved the basic conflict of how it
     can aspire to being a modern technological state without allowing
     more of its people access to the complete international internet
     With--technological advances proceeding to mind- numbing speed,
     it is reasonable to assume that Castro will not be able to deter
     major information flows arriving in Cuba. It should be U.S.
     policy to foster this information revolution.


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