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US confirms it made 'Cuban Twitter'

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US confirms it made 'Cuban Twitter'

Can't say I'm surprised to be honest.

The White House confirms a US government aid agency was behind a text-message service that was allegedly designed to foment unrest in Cuba.

ZunZuneo, dubbed a "Cuban Twitter", had 40,000 subscribers at its height in a country with limited web access, reports the Associated Press.

The project is said to have lasted from 2009-12 when the grant money ran out.

The US reportedly hid its links to the network through shell firms and by routing messages via other countries.

There has been no official Cuban government reaction to the story.
'Bogus advertisements'

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in the Cuban capital of Havana says there is a thirst for information on the island, which has no independent media.

The scheme, first reported by the Associated Press news agency, was operated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)

It is a federal international development organisation run under the aegis of the Department of State.

At a daily news briefing on Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the project had been debated by Congress and passed oversight controls.

He said: "These are the kinds of environments where a programme like this and its association with the US government can create problems for practitioners and members of the public.

"So appropriate discretion is engaged in for that reason but not because it's covert, not because it's an intelligence programme, because it is neither covert nor an intelligence programme."

USAID spokesman Matt Herrick told the BBC the agency was proud of its efforts in Cuba and that it worked to help people everywhere to exercise their rights and connect them with the outside world. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-26876801

However, the report could undermine USAID's longstanding claim that it does not take covert action in the countries where it operates aid programmes.

ZunZuneo, slang for a Cuban hummingbird's tweet, was reportedly designed to attract a subscriber base with discussion initially about everyday topics such as sport and weather.

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Not surprising. Wonder if Zuckerberg is actually a government shill :chin: :hmmm: :chin: :hmmm:



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