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June 29, 2017

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Google blocks tracking service in Cuba

SAN FRANCISCO--Cuba on Tuesday accused Google of "outrageous censorship" after the U.S. Internet giant blocked access to a Web traffic analysis tool to comply with U.S. 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 U.S. restrictions.

"As a U.S. company, we comply with U.S. 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, Myanmar, 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 U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control, according to state-run media website Cubadebate.cu.

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