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[] New DirecTV Encryption System has blacked out US programmes from Cuban TV,

ooops ... ;-)

Cubans denied access to US TV by American company
Monday, May 17, 2004

In one of life's strange ironies, at the same time as the Bush 
administration is planning to spend a lot of money getting US television 
signals into Cuba, an American company has just made a technical change 
that has blacked out US programmes from Cuban TV screens. 
California-based Satellite broadcaster DirecTV recently changed its 
encryption system to avoid piracy, principally in the US. But DirecTV 
programmes were also being received in Cuba using pirate cards, and 
those will no longer work.

Hans de Salas, research associate at the University of Miami's Institute 
for Cuban and Cuban-American studies, called it "an unexpected gift for 
the Castro government." But DirecTV had no choice, said Robert G Mercer, 
its public relations director. "While we understand they have a 
different motivation than the individuals who are stealing our signal in 
the US, they are still receiving our programming without our 
authorization and in a part of the world where we do not have a license 
to operate," he said. "We have an obligation to our legitimate customers 
and programming partners to target and take off-line anyone who is using 
an illegally modified access card."

Anecdotal reports speak of about 10,000 satellite television dishes in 
Cuba, according to Joe O'Connell, spokesman for the US government's 
International Broadcasting Bureau.

Elvira Claßen / Medienwissenschaftlerin (Dipl.-Soz.wiss.) & Freie 
Journalistin (dju)
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Forschungsgruppe Informationsgesellschaft und Sicherheitspolitik/FoG:IS 

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