Citing sanctions, Google blocks Analytics tool in Cuba

Cuba on Tuesday accused Google of "outrageous censorship" after the US Internet giant blocked access to a web traffic analysis tool to comply with US sanctions against Havana.

Google Analytics, a free tool allowing website operators to see when people visit and from where, stopped working in Cuba after a software update that brought it in line with US restrictions.

"As a US company, we comply with US export controls and trade sanctions that limit us from offering certain services in certain countries," Google said in an emailed reply to an AFP inquiry.

"In order to abide by these laws, our terms of service have always prohibited the use of Google Analytics in sanctioned countries," it said. "There's now a technical block in place as well."

The list of countries where Google products or services face sanctions included Cuba, Burma, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.

Efforts to access Google Analytics in Cuba on Tuesday were met with a message referring people to a website for the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control, according to state-run media website Cubadebate.cu.

Cubadebate branded the move by Google as "outrageous censorship" and slammed the "injustice" of being unable to access other Google services such as maps and search engines.

US sanctions have been in place against Cuba since 1962.

Limited political debate in the Communist-ruled island nation is carried out on blogs and social networking websites, but opposition to the ruling party is banned and the media is under state control.

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